MLB Rumors: Mets to bid high for Yoshinobu Yamamoto
A two-time MVP in Japan, Yamamoto's precision on the mound will make him one of the offseason's most coveted free agents. The Mets are expected to be "high bidders," as owner Steve Cohen tends to be. Billy Eppler was thought to be a key factor in the Mets' pursuit — he courted Shohei Ohtani as the Angels GM and he lured Kodai Senga to the Mets last winter — but Eppler resigned yesterday. New York will have to navigate front office turnover while also attempting to woo multiple high-value free agents.
Money can paper over a lot of concerns about a franchise's lack of leadership structure, though. The Mets finished the season in fourth place, 75-87, despite starting the campaign with the MLB's highest payroll. Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander were both traded at the deadline, which leaves a gaping hole ready to be filled by a player in Yamamoto's vein.
New York clearly doesn't want to rebuild, but instead 'retool.' Yamamoto fits such a timeline at 25 years old. There are concerns about his thin 5-foot-10 frame and his lack of top-end speed, but he paints the corners and unleashes impressive movement on the ball.
The Mets would have to feel good about Yamamoto and Senga atop the rotation. Heck, Ohtani isn't out of the picture either. New York could essentially court an entire country's fanbase along with a collection of players if ownership and what remains of the front office is committed enough.