Dodgers Free Agency Rumors: Yoshinobu Yamamoto Signing Contract

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The Los Angeles Dodgers made a splash by signing Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year, $700 million contract, but remained aggressive in free agency and part of the Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes.

One day after Ohtani’s contract was finalized, he was part of the Dodgers contingent that hosted Yamamoto at Dodger Stadium. Tuesday’s meeting reportedly included Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith as well.

The visit was part of Yamamoto sitting with teams in person after holding preliminary discussions remotely. Though, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and president of baseball operations David Stearns traveled to speak with Yamamoto in person.

After drawing widespread interest from several big-market teams, Yamamoto is signing with the Dodgers on a 12-year, $325 million contract, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in agreement on an 12-year, $325 million contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 22, 2023

Yamamoto signing with the Dodgers pairs him back up with Ohtani, as the two won the 2023 World Baseball Classic as teammates on Team Japan.

The Boston Red Sox, Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants reportedly were among the teams interested in Yamamoto.

The Giants at one point were thought to be the favorite, but during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, the Yankees were said to have expressed confidence they started to pull away from other suitors.

Yamamoto requested additional in-person meetings with the Mets and Yankees, and reportedly received a contract offer from the Phillies prior to making his decision.

What Yoshinobu Yamamoto brings to Dodgers rotation

With Yamamoto in the fold, the Dodgers now have an ace to lead their starting rotation that needed to be addressed this winter.

The group also has been fortified with the trade for Tyler Glasnow that netted Manuel Margot from the Tampa Bay Rays as well. Although Glasnow has some injury concerns given his history, the right-hander has a high ceiling.

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