The posting window for Yoshinobu Yamamoto officially opened on Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. PT, making him available in free agency to all 30 teams.
Yamamoto now has a 45-day window to negotiate and sign a contract. The right-hander is one of the top starting pitchers available in free agency.
In seven seasons with the Orix Buffaloes in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), Yamamoto went 70-29 with a 1.82 ERA. He pitched his second career no-hitter on September 9 .
The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals are among the teams expected to be in contention to sign Yamamoto.
The buzz with Yamamoto is warranted, and his ranking as either the second, or third-best free agent is justified.
The combination of a fully-developed ace-caliber starter at just 25 years old is incredibly rare. Yamamoto is drawing comparisons to San Diego Padres’ Yu Darvish, when he first joined MLB at the age of 25 as well.
Darvish immediately became one of the top arms in baseball, showcasing an elite arsenal. Yamamoto has the profile of a power right-handed arm with a strong pitch mix.
Yamamoto uses a three-quarter arm slot with a slightly lower release point, which makes his mid-to-upper 90s fastballs play much more up in the strike zone. He also throws a curveball, slider and cutter, to go alongside the four-seam and two-seam fastballs.
A unique piece to Yamamoto has been his ability to maintain a high strikeout rate after two trips through the lineup, a very telling piece to how effective he is.
When is the deadline for Yoshinobu Yamamoto to sign?
Yamamoto must sign with an MLB team prior to the deadline at 2 p.m. on January 4, 2024.
Under an agreement with MLB and NPB, the posting fee for Yamamoto will be 20% of the first $25 million of his contract, which includes earned bonuses and options. Plus an additional 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any amount over $50 million.
Early estimates have Yamamoto signing for at least $200 million.
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