Cubs Rumors: Japanese ace interest, empty rotation slot, Pete Crow-Armstrong

  • Cubs sent scouts to look at Japanese prospect
  • Pitching prospect due for MLB debut
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong is gem of rising Cubs farm system
Team Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Team Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto / Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

Cubs rumors: Japanese pitcher on offseason radar?

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Cubs were among 10 MLB squads on hand to watch a recent start by Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto as he took the mound for the Orix Buffaloes. Also on hand were Chicago's division rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, as well as the New York Yankees and Mets, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers.

With plenty of intrigue surrounding Yamamoto as he expected to be posted and have plenty of MLB suitors, the 25-year-old right-hander threw seven scoreless innings, likely causing the scouts in attendance to salivate over the prospect of having him in the rotation in 2024 and beyond.

While Shohei Ohtani is expected to draw much of the attention this offseason, don't overlook the tussle there will be to acquire Yamamoto's services. It appears the Cubs could be in on the bidding as well and has some recent experience in the process, signing Seiya Suzuki (after he had played nine NPB seasons) before the 2022 campaign to a five-year, $85 million deal.