MLB rumors: 4 teams that satisfy both of Yamamoto's wish list items

Yoshinobu Yamamoto has, so far, two very specific items on his wish list for an MLB team. These four check off both.

World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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Chicago Cubs

Similar to the New York market, there are technically two teams to choose from here, though it's hard to see the Chicago White Sox being major players for Yamamoto given that their rebuild has yet to take shape.

The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, have gestured that they're pushing their chips to the center to try to compete. They shockingly fired David Ross in favor of a new manager, Craig Counsell, whose contract was up with the Milwaukee Brewers. They regularly bubble up in trade rumors around various star players, too.

The Cubs already have solid starting rotation pieces but could still use a backfill for Marcus Stroman, who looks likely to sign elsewhere in free agency after failing to agree on an in-season extension with the Cubs in 2023.

Seiya Suzuki was posted by Hiroshima after the 2021 season and has adjusted well to MLB with a 113 OPS+ in his rookie MLB season and 124 in 2023. He garnered 37 extra-base hits this year for the Cubs, second only behind Ian Happ.

While Suzuki wouldn't be practicing alongside Yamamoto as a non-pitcher, that could be preferable for Yamamoto so he's not engaged in active 'competition' with his fellow Japanese teammate. Instead, Suzuki could help him adjust to American culture and learn from his teammates.