Yoshinobu Yamamoto Rumors: ‘No. 1 Priority’ For Dodgers

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers have already added Tyler Glasnow to their rotation but remain in search of another starting pitcher and continue to be linked to Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

The three-time Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) MVP is inching closer to choosing his next team and could make a decision by Christmas Day.

Yamamoto has drawn widespread interest and is in the process of meeting with teams, which included a tour of Dodger Stadium last week. Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Will Smith and Bobby Miller were reportedly part of the Dodgers’ free agency pitch to the right-hander.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Dodgers have made Yamamoto their top priority even after acquiring Glasnow:

The Dodgers’ impending trade for Tyler Glasnow didn’t take Los Angeles out of the Yamamoto sweepstakes – in fact, some believe Yamamoto is now their No. 1 priority.

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

The 25-year-old could potentially sign the biggest contract in MLB history for a starting pitcher. The current record belongs to Gerrit Cole, who signed a nine-year, $324 million deal with the New York Yankees in December 2019.

The Dodgers have the financial flexibility to sign Yamamoto thanks to the unprecedented deferrals in Shohei Ohtani’s 10-year, $700 million contract. The two-way star structured his deal that way so the team can use the savings to build the best team possible.

The window to sign Yamamoto began on November 21 and runs through January 4, 2024. The club that signs him will be required to pay Orix a posting fee that is equal to 20% of the contract’s first $25 million, 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any additional dollars.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto contract offers

As Yamamoto mulls over his options in free agency, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reported that he has received contract offers of more than $300 million from the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants.

To this point, the Dodgers, Yankees and New York Mets have been the presumed favorites to sign Yamamoto.

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