Yoshinobu Yamamoto Rumors: Yankees & Dodgers History Intriguing Factors

After finalizing the signing of Shohei Ohtani to a record-setting contract, the Los Angeles Dodgers now have their sights on acquiring a frontline starting pitcher.

The team has been prominently linked to Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is arguably the top available option in free agency. The right-hander is in the process of meeting teams and visited with the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium this week.

Yamamoto has drawn widespread interest from the Dodgers and several other big-market clubs, including the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants.

According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Dodgers and Yankees may have an advantage to sign Yamamoto due to their rich history, while the Mets could potentially offer him the largest contract:

SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Thursday that Yamamoto is “intrigued by the iconography and history of the Yankees and Dodgers,” and that the Mets “have a deep desire to sign him and deeper pockets than anyone.”

It was previously reported that Yamamoto wants to sign with a big-market team. There was also some thought that he may prefer to play on the West Coast, though nothing is set in stone.

The Dodgers are said to be infatuated with signing Yamamoto, and the feeling appears to be mutual as the 25-year-old reportedly grew up a fan of the team and would welcome the opportunity to pitch for them.

Yamamoto went 17-6 with a 1.21 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 176 strikeouts in 24 games for the Buffaloes this year. His career in Japan ended with a third consecutive Eiji Sawamura Award, which is Nippon Professional Baseball’s (NPB) equivalent of MLB’s Cy Young.

What contract will Yoshinobu Yamamoto sign?

While original projections had Yamamoto signing with an MLB team for an estimated $200 million, he is now expected to receive closer to $300 million.

Yamamoto has until 2 p.m. PT on January 4, 2024, to choose a team. The club that signs him will be required to pay Orix a posting fee that is equal to 20% of the contract’s first $25 million, 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any additional dollars.

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