Yankees ‘like their chances’ after Yamamoto sought another meeting
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The Yankees are immensely hopeful of significant progress in their negotiations with Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the standout Japanese pitcher. Recent reports indicate that he has expressed the desire for a second meeting with the Yankees and the Mets, hinting at the possibility of a substantial chance for landing in New York.
Yamamoto’s team has specifically approached the Yankees for a follow-up meeting. According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, this meeting has already transpired on Sunday.
Andy Martino of SNY revealed that Yamamoto had also requested a second meeting with the New York Mets and had informed them of his intention to travel to the East. These recent updates suggest a shift in the Yamamoto market toward New York, with previous frontrunners such as the Chicago Cubs and the LA Dodgers currently not in consideration.
Following his release by the Orix Buffaloes, Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s scouting reports have been highly favorable leading many MLB teams to make a beeline for him.
The Yankees’ chances of signing Yamamoto
Jim Bowden of The Athletic disclosed on Saturday that both the Giants and Red Sox have extended offers exceeding $300 million to Yoshinobu Yamamoto, according to his sources. This development aligns with previous mentions by Bowden and Heyman, who had already suggested the possibility of Yamamoto receiving offers surpassing the $300 million mark.
Additionally, it was revealed on Sunday that Yamamoto has engaged in a second meeting with the New York Mets, and there are plans for another meeting with the New York Yankees.
In terms of team needs, the Red Sox and Mets emerge as the most reliant on securing Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Red Sox face various uncertainties in their rotation, including concerns about Chris Sale’s health, the youthful status of Brayan Bello, and general unpredictability in the backend. Acquiring the Japanese ace could also serve as a positive public relations move for the Red Sox, who have grappled with unfavorable press since the 2020 trade involving Mookie Betts.
The Mets are also actively pursuing Yamamoto, with competition from teams like the Dodgers and Red Sox. Notably, the pitcher had a dinner engagement at the Connecticut residence of owners Steve and Alex Cohen on Saturday night, marking his first meeting with manager Carlos Mendoza and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.
Opting for the Yankees could potentially reshape the balance of power in the American League. With the recent addition of Juan Soto to their roster, securing Yamamoto would position the Yankees at the forefront in the AL. Pairing him with Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodon at the top of the rotation would establish one of the most formidable 1-2-3 pitching combinations in the league for the Yankees.
Citing a source linked to the Yankees, Andy Martino reported that “they like their chances.”
A delegation from the Yankees, including Cashman, president Randy Levine, manager Aaron Boone, and pitching coach Matt Blake, traveled to Los Angeles last week for a meeting with Yamamoto. The arrangement of a second meeting was expedited, reflecting a degree of internal confidence, as per insider sources.
According to MLB Network insider Joel Sherman’s article in the New York Post on Sunday, the competition for Yamamoto is anticipated to “escalate” in the upcoming week, and it appears to have gained substantial momentum over the weekend.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported on Sunday that the Yankees are consistently viewed as the front-runners to secure Yamamoto’s signing. Meanwhile, Heyman recently characterized the Yankees and Dodgers as “co-favorites” in the pursuit of the ace pitcher. The deadline to finalize a deal with an MLB club is set for 5 p.m. ET on January 4, but sources suggest an agreement is likely to be reached before January 1, according to Sherman.
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