Last Updated on November 11, 2023 at 6:24 am by Sara Molnick
Japanese star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is adored by all big names in MLB, including both the Yankees and the Mets. However, oddsmakers put the Mets as the favorites while the Yankees are No. 3 in the race to sign the Nippon League ace.
According to DraftKings, the Mets are favored at +170 to secure Yamamoto, with a 37.04 percent probability of landing the highly sought-after right-hander. The Yankees hold the third-best odds at +450, placing them just below the Dodgers with +320 odds.
Cut-throat competition for Yamamoto
The 25-year-old Yamamoto is anticipated to sign a contract exceeding $200 million. Still, his ace qualities attract all major MLB teams to seek him on their rosters for the upcoming season.
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However, the potential hurdle lies in Yamamoto’s height, standing at 5-foot-10, raising questions about how willing teams will be to invest significant funds in a pitcher of relatively smaller stature. This led many to rekindle the historical challenges associated with investing in shorter pitchers.
For instance, the Giants’ right-hander Tim Lincecum. Despite Lincecum’s initial success, winning two Cy Young Awards in his second and third seasons, his career took a downturn due to physical issues.
The upcoming team odds are likely to consistently favor wealthier teams, as they theoretically have the financial capacity to sign more free agents.
Yamamoto not only brings considerable potential as a future ace but also comes without the burden of draft pick compensation. Therefore, any team signing him retains its first-round pick. Given that both the Yankees and Mets are ranked in the top three odds, DraftKings predicts a probability of over 50 percent (55.12 percent) that Yamamoto will join one of the New York teams.
Yamamoto has impressively delivered exceptional performances over the past three seasons in Japan, consistently topping the league in victories, ERA, and strikeouts each year.
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