Yankees lead pack for star pitcher Yamamoto sweepstakes, claims insider

Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is heavily linked to the Yankees.
Michael Bennington
Tuesday December 5, 2023

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The Yankees have been strongly associated with Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the Japanese pitcher recently made available for posting by the Orix Buffaloes. On Monday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today expressed confidence in the scenario of the standout right-handed pitcher going to the Bronx.

According to his interview on “Foul Territory,” the Yankees are the frontrunners for Yamamoto. He claimed that the Japanese ace is the opposite of Ohtani, seeking the spotlight and embracing fashion. Nightengale suggested that the competition for the pitcher is primarily between the Yankees and Dodgers, although he did not rule out the Mets due to their New York location. However, he expressed difficulty envisioning Yamamoto signing with any other team.

Yamamoto is the apple of all eyes


In the current season, Yamamoto demonstrated an impressive performance with a 1.21 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and a notable 169 strikeouts in 164 innings. The 25-year-old achieved his third consecutive season with a sub-2 ERA and secured his third Eiji Sawamura Award, which is the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young Award.

As he enters free agency, Yamamoto is anticipated to demand a contract worth at least $200 million. By 5 p.m. on January 4th, we will learn whether the current Yankees embody the legacy of the team known for entering rooms with a combination of history, confidence, and financial prowess, effortlessly securing any player they desired.

As the initial week of the new year concludes, the Yankees will find themselves in possession of either Yamamoto and Juan Soto, or they may need to come to terms with the onset of a new era, denoted by both Brian Cashman and Before Collapse.

Japanese pitching sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto plays in the Nippon League and is a target by many MLB clubs.
Japan Times

This marks the erosion of the Yankees’ perception of grandeur, of mystique, and of aura. The decline has been ongoing for years, epitomized notably six years ago when they, erroneously, believed they were the frontrunners for Shohei Ohtani, only for him to exclude them as finalists for his services. The Yankees responded with a panicked shift to Giancarlo Stanton, leading to a gradual descent to an 82-80 record and their most challenging season in three decades. Presently, there’s a growing realization that they no longer hold the inevitability of obtaining their desired outcomes.

Yankees are ahead of Mets

Despite rival teams hinting at the Mets being a major contender for Japanese ace Yamamoto, there is a widespread belief that this outcome is anything but assured, especially with numerous high-spending teams also vying for his services.

Both Yankees and Mets want pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The Mets are not taking anything for granted and are actively exploring other free-agent pitchers, such as Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, and Eduardo Rodriguez. In considering fallback options, there seems to be a potential inclination towards Snell.

Meanwhile, the Yankees are optimistic about acquiring Yamamoto but, so far, have only been associated with the former Yankee Montgomery as a prominent pitching option.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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