Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Yoshinobu Yamamoto has not thrown a pitch at the Major League level but is arguably the top available free agent for teams looking to bolster their starting rotation.
Yamamoto is only 25 years old and coming off a third consecutive MVP Award in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) after going 17-6 with a 1.21 ERA over 24 starts with the Orix Buffaloes this year.
Yamamoto could command a contract of $300 million due to the widespread interest he is getting from big-market teams, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants.
According to Andy Martino of SNY, Yamamoto is expected to choose his next team before Christmas:
Yamamoto is expected to sign with a team before Christmas.
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.
Yamamoto is in the process of meeting with teams and reportedly visited Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. Among those reported to be on hand were Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Bobby Miller and the newly-signed Shohei Ohtani.
The Dodgers are looking to add at least two starting pitchers this offseason and have the financial flexibility to give Yamamoto a large contract due to the team-friendly structure of Ohtani’s record-setting deal.
L.A. has also been linked to Shane Bieber, Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease and Tyler Glasnow, who are all rumored to be on the trade market.
Dodgers believe fandom may ‘boost odds’ of Yoshinobu Yamamoto signing
It was previously reported that Yamamoto grew up a Dodgers fan and is intrigued with the idea of pitching for them. This important factor has the team cautiously optimistic they will be able to sign the Japanese phenom.
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