MLB Rumors: Braves Cease advantage, Yamamoto NL East offers, Imanaga rivalry brewing

  • Braves could have an advantage in Dylan Cease trade talks
  • Offers from NL East teams for Yoshinobu Yamamoto revealed
  • Rivalries brewing in Shota Imanaga chase

Aug 25, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease (84) and
Aug 25, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease (84) and / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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MLB Rumors: Rivalries brewing in Shota Imanaga chase

The biggest name on the international free agency market not named Shohei Ohtani was Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Japanese right-hander came with a lot of intrigue not only because he won three straight Sawamura Awards (Japanese equivalent to Cy Young) but he's just 25 years old. Ohtani and Yamamoto both held up the market only to end up with the same team, the Dodgers.

While Yamamoto dominated the international market, there's another highly-touted Japanese starting pitcher, Shota Imanaga, who will also be signed this offseason. Imanaga is nowhere near as prized as Yamamoto and he's also five years older, but Jeff Passan of ESPN believes a nine-figure deal for Imanaga is not out of reach, and that there will be plenty of suitors jockeying for his services. Some teams who are rivals on the field could be rivals off of it while pursuing Imanaga.

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers might be bitter rivals on the field, but have been adversaries off of it as well. The Giants showed heavy interest in both Ohtani and Yamamoto, only to watch them join the Dodgers. The Giants have lost out on several key names in recent offseasons. Perhaps this rivalry and them not wanting to watch yet another free agent join the Dodgers will get them to add more money or an additional year to secure the deal.

The most historic rivalry in baseball includes the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, and both are listed as potential suitors as well. Both teams could really use another starter considering the Yankees traded several arms to get Juan Soto and the Red Sox traded Chris Sale to get Vaughn Grissom. Both teams are historically big spenders but have been more cash-strapped in recent years. Will the fact that they know they're both interested convince either party to offer a bigger deal?

Other teams listed as potential destinations include the Los Angeles Angels, the New York Mets, and even the Philadelphia Phillies. With his posting window coming to a close on January 11, a decision will have to come soon.