Yoshinobu Yamamoto Contract Details: Backloaded Base Salary

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Yoshinobu Yamamoto joined the Los Angeles Dodgers on a 12-year, $325 million deal, giving him the largest contract signed by a pitcher in MLB history.

Aside from it being a pitcher’s most lucrative contract, the deal also has some details that benefit both sides.

The 25-year-old has a built-in clause in his contract that pushes back the opt-outs if Yamamoto undergoes Tommy John surgery or misses significant time because of an elbow injury. Yamamoto’s commitment to the Dodgers also includes a wide array of perks, including a $50 million signing bonus.

Yamamoto’s contract also features a backloaded structure, giving him base salaries of less than $15 million for each of the first three years, per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press:

Yamamoto has salaries of $5 million this year, $10 million in 2025 and $12 million in 2026, according to the deal announced Dec. 27. He gets $26 million each in 2027, 2028 and 2029, $29 million in each of the following two seasons and $28 million from 2032-35.

Yamamoto’s contract does not included deferred salary, unlike Shohei Ohtani’s deal, who has all but $20 million of his $700 million pushed back to future years.

Yamamoto’s posting fee is also the largest under the current posting format that began in 2017, with $50.6 million heading to the Orix Buffaloes, his former Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) team.

The Dodgers gave Yamamoto a $50 million signing bonus that will be paid within the first year as well. The posting fee and signing bonus given to Yamamoto is likely an important part of the reason his salary is lowered for the first few seasons.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto opt-out clause if traded

One exclusion from Yamamoto’s contract is the lack of a no-trade clause, which was handed out to Ohtani. It stands as the only full no-trade clause handed out during Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s tenure.

However, if Yamamoto is traded at any point in his current contract, he has the right to opt out of the deal at the end of that season.

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