Yoshinobu Yamamoto Rumors: Mets Attempting To Use Shohei Ohtani As Negative

Now that Shohei Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Yoshinobu Yamamoto is far and away the most coveted player in free agency.

Yamamoto’s market is believed to primary consist of the Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. The Toronto Blue Jays may still be in the picture as well, but on the periphery more so than the other aforementioned teams.

The Dodgers signing Ohtani is thought to be a significant selling point, and the two-way star was part of their contingent when they hosted Yamamoto at Dodger Stadium earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the Mets are attempting to pitch the Dodgers having Ohtani as a negative in their recruitment of Yamamoto, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post:

When stacked up against the Dodgers, the Mets have tried to sell Yamamoto, according to a source, on the idea he wouldn’t have to reside in Shohei Ohtani’s shadow in Los Angeles and could forge his own identity on the East Coast.

Yamamoto recently had a second meeting with Mets personnel, and he also did so with the Yankees while on the East Coast. It’s not known if the right-hander has requested or taken second meetings with any other teams.

During the Winter Meetings the Yankees reportedly were conveying a sense of confidence over their odds of signing Yamamoto, and that sentiment has remained of late in response to receiving a second meeting. Some believe Mets owner Steve Cohen won’t be outbid for the 25-year-old.

There was some thought Yamamoto would make his free agency decision by Christmas, but there is now an expectation the process will stretch beyond that point and closer to the start of 2024.

Bryce Harper recruited Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The Phillies reportedly had Bryce Harper join their meeting with Yamamoto by having him call in via FaceTime as part of their free agency pitch.

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