Yamamoto’s midnight Instagram story drops clues about his MLB strategy

A Japanese news paper covers Yoshinobu Yamamoto's midnight Instagram story on Dec 18, 2023.

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While the world anticipates Yoshinobu Yamamoto‘s decision, the Japanese pitching ace offered a glimpse into the background to commend the individual working towards securing him a groundbreaking contract.

Yamamoto shared a photo on his Instagram, approximately at midnight on Sunday, revealing himself on a plane alongside his agent, Joel Wolfe. The caption in Japanese read, “#Super Joel,” accompanied by a plane emoji.

Yamamoto offers clues for baseball fans

Yamamoto has ample justification for referring to Wolfe as “Super Joel,” as it appears that Wolfe has successfully ignited a potential bidding war involving some of the most prominent spenders in the sport.

The Japanese ace seems to be also happy with the focus and frantic efforts to sign him by multiple MLB teams. According to Joel Sherman of The Post, the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Blue Jays are all in the running to secure the services of the 25-year-old. Recent developments in the past week have witnessed substantial meetings and reports on the Yamamoto front, signifying the concerted efforts of teams as they strive to secure the services of this pitching ace.

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Yamamoto visited owner Steve Cohen’s residence in Greenwich, Conn., for the Mets’ second in-person meeting. He also sought a meeting with the Yankees and it was held on Sunday, following a prior encounter in Los Angeles.

The Yankees-Mets competition

This marks the first instance since Steve Cohen assumed the role of the Mets’ majority owner in 2020 that both New York teams are actively competing for a significant free agent. Recently securing Shohei Ohtani with a $700 million contract, the Dodgers presented an impressive pitch adorned with star power, including Ohtani, Mookie Betts, and Freddie Freeman.

While there hasn’t been as much attention on the other contenders, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden disclosed that the Giants and Red Sox made robust efforts, each extending offers surpassing $300 million.

The Phillies utilized their star power by orchestrating a FaceTime session between Bryce Harper and Yamamoto, as reported by MLB Network.

According to Jon Heyman of The Post, the Yankees and Dodgers are currently considered co-favorites to secure the ace’s signing before the January 4 deadline, with the Mets ranking third in the race.

A Japanese newspapers coverage highlights hyped chase of Yoshinobu Yamamoto by Yankees, Dodgers, and other MLB teams.
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It is increasingly evident that Yamamoto is poised to secure one of the most substantial pitching contracts in history, even though he has never pitched in MLB before.

Should this materialize, Yamamoto will undoubtedly express gratitude to “Super Joel.”

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