Yoshinobu Yamamoto Contract Details: Dodgers Paying $50 Million Signing Bonus

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers made more major news this offseason by reportedly agreeing to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a 12-year, $325 million contract.

The deal is the largest for any pitcher in MLB history, surpassing the nine-year, $324 million contract Gerrit Cole signed with the New York Yankees in December 2019.

Prior to their reported agreement with Yamamoto, the Dodgers’ biggest commitment to a pitcher was Clayton Kershaw’s seven-year, $215 million contract extension in January 2014.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Yamamoto received a $50 million signing bonus from the Dodgers as part of his record contract:

Yamamoto, who has a pair of opt-outs in the contract, will receive a $50 million signing bonus, sources said.

The value of Yamamoto’s contract does not include a $50.6 million posting fee the Dodgers will pay to the Orix Buffaloes. Any signing team owed Orix 20% of the first $25 million of Yamamoto’s contract, an additional 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% for any potential remaining total.

Yamamoto was one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason due to his young age and ace potential. He reportedly chose the Dodgers over other big-market teams such as the Yankees, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants.

Yamamoto gives the Dodgers another frontline starter to pair with Tyler Glasnow, Bobby Miller and Walker Buehler at the top of the rotation. He is also reunited with fellow countryman Shohei Ohtani, having previously won the 2023 World Baseball Classic as teammates on Team Japan.

Yamamoto went 17-6 with a 1.21 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 176 strikeouts in 24 games for the Buffaloes this past season en route to a third consecutive Eiji Sawamura Award and Pacific League MVP.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto contract includes opt-out clauses

It was reported that Yamamoto’s contract with the Dodgers includes two opt-out opportunities after the 2029 and 2031 seasons.

While opting out could end his Dodgers tenure much earlier than anticipated, it would likely indicate that Yamamoto was a dominant force for them over five seasons.

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