3 moves the Blue Jays can make after missing out on Shohei Ohtani

The Toronto Blue Jays missed out on Shohei Ohtani. Here are three moves they can make to bolster their roster.

Jun 28, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins talks with the
Jun 28, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins talks with the / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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Yoshinobu Yamamoto could be an excellent consolation prize for Blue Jays

If the Toronto Blue Jays really want to make a splash this offseason, they should set all of their focus on Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the best overall free agent available.

Yamamoto spent seven years with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball. During that time, he won the Pacific League MVP award three years in a row (2021-23). Playing for Japan's international team, Yamamoto won gold medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

During his time playing in NPB's Pacific League, Yamamoto recorded a 1.82 ERA, a 0.935 WHIP, a 70-29 win-loss record, 922 strikeouts, and 206 walks over 897.0 innings (172 games).

Even though Yamamoto never played in MLB, he is expected to command a huge contract as a free agent. Former MLB general manager and current writer for The Athletic, Jim Bowden, revealed that there's a possibility that Yamamoto could command nearly $300 million on his first MLB contract. That's how highly teams view Yamamoto and how he can transition to playing in the United States.

The bidding for Yamamoto is going to be competitive, considering the teams involved. The Dodgers were among teams interested in acquiring Yamamoto, but that looks unlikely after signing Shohei Ohtani to a $700 million contract. The Athletic's Will Sammon reports that seven teams are viewed as "serious suitors" for Yamamoto, including the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, and the Blue Jays.

If the Blue Jays want to improve their chances of contending in 2024, and to stick it to the Yankees, they should do whatever it takes to bring in Yamamoto on a long-term contract.

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