Yoshinobu Yamamoto Rumors: Dodgers Believe Fandom May ‘Boost Odds’ Of Signing

Following the addition of Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still hot on the pursuit to add to their starting rotation ahead of the 2024 season.

With Blake Snell, Shōta Imanaga and Jordan Montgomery also available on the free agent market, the Dodgers haven’t wavered in going after Yoshinobu Yamamoto. He remains the best option, and because the right-hander is just 25 years old, Yamamoto is a highly coveted target.

Yamamoto is believed to have met with the New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants and Dodgers thus far. He’s reportedly expected to also meet with the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, as well.

But the Dodgers feel strongly in their status after signing Ohtani, and their standing as a premier organization that has reinvigorated their commitment to being a powerhouse franchise. With all of that in tow and Yamamoto having grown up a Dodgers fan, they believe it aids their efforts, per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:

While Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he had not met with Yamamoto ahead of the pitcher’s arrival in the United States this weekend (unlike Mets owner Steve Cohen, who jumped on a trans-Pacific flight), Dodgers officials feel that Yamamoto growing up a Dodgers fan could boost the club’s odds should they be able to reach such a high number.

Reports of Yamamoto’s contract could extend to the $300 million range, with his age and resume in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) having a lot to do with the hype. Yamamoto showcases electric stuff, which saw him go 17-6 with a 1.21 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 176 strikeouts in 24 starts in 2023.

He earned his third consecutive Eiji Sawamura Award, equivalent of MLB’s Cy Young, and ended his NPB career with three straight MVP Awards.

Dodgers stars part of Yoshinobu Yamamoto free agency pitch

When the Dodgers met with Yamamoto on Tuesday, they made sure to have as much influence as possible to make their perfect free agency pitch.

Alongside Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman was newly signed megastar, Shohei Ohtani. The trio met with Yamamoto at Dodger Stadium.

Ohtani and Yamamoto both played together for Team Japan, and together captured the 2023 World Baseball Classic championship.

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