Yoshinobu Yamamoto Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies Made Largest Contract Offer

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Yoshinobu Yamamoto was one of the most coveted free agents in MLB history this offseason when he was posted on the market after three dominant years in Nippon Professional Baseball.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ultimately won the sweepstakes, but it was not without a lot of competition from some other big market teams. It was previously reported both the New York Mets and New York Yankees were in the discussions until the end and made significant offers to the right-hander.

The Dodgers ended up matching the Mets’ offer, while the Yankees were unwilling to pay Yamamoto more than their ace Gerrit Cole makes.

However, it seems none of those teams had the highest offer. According to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquierer, the Philadelphia Phillies actually made the largest offer to Yamamoto with owner John Middleton leading the charge:

“We pushed hard with Yamamoto,” Middleton said.

How hard? Team officials don’t disclose specifics of contract talks as a matter of course. But after meeting for three hours Dec. 14 with Yamamoto and his agents, and making a presentation that featured a video appearance by Bryce Harper, the Phillies offered more money than any team, according to multiple industry sources. That includes the Dodgers, who won the Yamamoto auction with a 12-year, $325 million bid that stands as the largest guarantee for any pitcher ever.

While the Dodgers still made Yamamoto the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history, it’s still noteworthy he passed up on additional money to join the Dodgers.

However, his contract also includes many incentives that may not have been included in the Phillies’ offer, such as his own personal trainer and physical therapist, a hotel suite on road trips, five roundtrip airline tickets each year, and the ability to block a Minor League assignment.

The Dodgers also did not defer any money to Yamamoto, and it’s unclear if the Phillies’ contract proposal included deferrals, which could have lowered the value.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto wants to keep improving

Early on in Spring Training, Yamamoto has been impressing teammates and coaches with his bullpen sessions and live batting practice. But even with the positive results early on, Yamamoto is still focused on improving.

He is set to make his MLB debut when the Dodgers face the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea from March 20-21.

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