MLB Rumors: 5 Yoshinobu Yamamoto free agency fits after Japanese star’s no-hitter

Several teams will be fighting for Yoshinobu Yamamoto's services this offseason.
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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2) Yoshinobu Yamamoto free agency fit: Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are a team that will be looking to win in 2024 after a surprisingly good 2023. Chicago was a team many thought might compete for a playoff spot, but ultimately didn't really have enough. Now, at 76-67, Chicago holds the second Wild Card spot in the NL and even has a puncher's chance at the division title.

The Cubs have an ace in Justin Steele, but their rotation in 2024 beyond him is a big question mark. Marcus Stroman has a player option for $21 million that after a solid 2023 campaign he seems likely to decline. Kyle Hendricks has a $16 million club option that Chicago could decline as well. They have some promising arms like Jordan Wicks and Javier Assad and do have Jameson Taillon locked in, but especially if Stroman leaves, Chicago could really use a number two starter.

The Cubs have a ton of money to spend with them only having the 12th-highest payroll in baseball this season, and seem likely to spend a large chunk of it. They should be players for Shohei Ohtani, and if they miss, Yamamoto is not a bad consolation prize whatsoever.

With him in the fold, the Cubs would have their one-two punch with him and Steele for the next half-decade at least.