Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After trading for Tyler Glasnow, the Los Angeles Dodgers further bolstered their starting rotation by signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a record-setting 12-year, $325 million contract.
Yamamoto’s deal came on the heels of the Dodgers signing Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year, $700 million agreement, with terms included that allowed the front office to remain aggressive in free agency.
Yamamoto’s contract has built-in base salary increases, which provide him with less than $15 million for each of the first three seasons. Multiple opt-out clauses are included as well, which protect both parties in case of injury.
If Yamamoto has Tommy John surgery or spends more than 134 days consecutive service days on the injured list from 2024 through 2029, his opt-outs don’t come until 2031 and 2023. If Tommy John and that prolonged IL stint are avoided Yamamoto can opt out in 2029 and 2031.
Should Yamamoto’s opt-out clauses be delayed because of surgery or a long-term injury, the Dodgers would add a team option to his contract for the 20236 season, per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press:
In the first scenario, the Dodgers also would gain a $10 million conditional option for 2036 with no buyout.
The three-time Eiji Sawamura Award winner (Nippon Professional Baseball’s version of Cy Young) is on track to begin his Dodgers career with a clean bill of health.
Yamamoto is unique in his training style, which doesn’t consist of weight training, but rather a combination of breathing and flexibility, in addition to yoga and core training.
He also plans to continue the use of a javelin, which has become an integral piece of Yamamoto’s training routine.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto could benefit from Dodgers using six-man rotation
Some scouts believe that Yamamoto could have durability concerns in MLB with his smaller frame, but the Dodgers and general manager Brandon Gomes don’t have such worries but may still look to utilize a six-man starting rotation.
“I think one thing we’ve done really well over the years is make sure our pitchers have enough rest,” Gomes said.
“So that’s something that we’ll continue to talk about and make sure that everybody’s just in the best position to perform. We’ve been fortunate enough to have depth to be able to drop guys in when needed. And it’s something we’ve done in the past. So we’ll be nimble on that front.”
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