Yoshinobu Yamamoto ‘Loved’ The Dodgers For Multiple Years

Multiple years of planning and, in particular, exercising financial restraint last offseason has paid off in spades for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they’ve signed Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto to respective record-breaking contracts.

Ohtani was the Dodgers’ first big catch of the winter as he signed a 10-year, $700 million contract. Ohtani’s contract is the richest in MLB history and ever in all of professional sports, but the deal remarkably includes $680 million in deferred salary so the Dodgers could maintain some financial flexibility.

That was put to use by reaching an agreement with Yamamoto on a 12-year, $325 million contract.

Yamamoto signing with the Dodgers didn’t come as much of a surprise, particularly with how fond he’s been of the organization, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports:

Ohtani being part of the Dodgers also was believed to have been a noteworthy selling point. The two played together on Team Japan and won the 2023 World Baseball Classic, and were potentially going to attend the Los Angeles Rams game at SoFi Stadium this past Thursday.

The Dodgers faced competition from the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays as fellow finalists for Yamamoto.

He reportedly pared that group down to the Dodgers, Mets and Yankees as part of a making a decision. The Yankees offered Yamamoto the highest average annual value, along with more money up front and a quicker opt-out clause than the Dodgers presented.

But the Yankees’ contract offer topped out at $300 million, whereas the Mets and Dodgers both extended to $325 million.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s contract records

Yamamoto’s 12-year, $325 million contract with the Dodgers is the richest ever for a pitcher in MLB history — besting Gerrit Cole by $1 million — and it is also the longest.

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