Yoshinobu Yamamoto Rumors: ‘Highly Significant’ Shohei Ohtani Was At Dodgers Meeting

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes appear to be nearing their end with the expectation that the right-hander picks his team this week, or at least before the new year begins.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and New York Mets are believed to be the teams at the forefront of talks, while the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox also remain in the mix, along with a few other clubs.

Yamamoto has spent the past two weeks meeting with teams, both over the phone, on Zoom and in-person, which included a tour of Dodger Stadium while he was meeting with interested teams in Los Angeles, where his agent resides.

As part of the meeting, the Dodgers brought out the star power with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Shohei Ohtani, Will Smith and Bobby Miller in attendance to help with the recruitment.

Yamamoto ended up following Miller on Instagram, but the inclusion of Ohtani at the meeting was said to make a positive impact, according to Andy Martino of SNY:

As for the Dodgers, Shohei Ohtani’s presence at the team’s meeting with Yamamoto last week was said by a person close to the player to be “highly significant.” The Dodgers are also in a strong position.

Ohtani and Yamamoto, of course, are fellow country mates from Japan, and they were both part of Team Japan’s 2023 World Baseball Classic team, where they finished as the Gold Medal winners. During that time, the two were said to develop a positive relationship, which could ultimatley help the Dodgers land the highly-coveted starting pitcher.

Yamamoto is also said to be the Dodgers’ top priority, and the 25-year-old was a Dodgers fan growing up, which the club is hopeful will help boost their odds of getting a deal done.

He has until January 4 to work out a contract, and according to multiple reports, the final bidding and negotiations are taking place this week.

Bryce Harper attended Phillies’ meeting with Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The Phillies also remain involved in the negotiations and had Bryce Harper as part of their free agency pitch to Yamamoto. Harper has also involved himself in trying to lure players to sign with the Phillies, including with former Dodgers All-Star Trea Turner.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!