MLB Rumors: Dodgers out of Yoshinobu Yamamoto race, NY teams battling
One of the most coveted free agents of the 2023-24 offseason has now officially been posted with Yoshinobu Yamamoto now on the market. The 25-year-old Japanese star pitcher can begin negotiations with teams on Tuesday, Nov. 21 and MLB teams have 45 days to agree to terms with the multi-time Triple Crown winner in Japan.
But who is going to sign the right-handed sensation that posted a 1.21 ERA last season with the Orix Buffaloes?
Many of the familiar faces in baseball that you'd expect to see in the mix for Yamamoto are there. The Mets and Yankees figure to be in the mix, as do the Red Sox and Dodgers. The Cubs have been floated as a possibility, and the Phillies recently appeared to enter the fray. According to one insider, though, this is only a two-team race.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Yamamoto landing with either New York team is the most likely option for the Japanese star as he comes available on the market. Executives believe that he wants to pitch in a big market, per Nightengale, and predicted that New York, either the Mets or the Yankees would win out.
While teams like the Phillies, Red Sox, Cubs and some others have hoped for Yamamoto, the chances of landing the starting pitcher seemed a bit long from the start for those clubs. This is perhaps the biggest hit to the Dodgers, an organization that largely stayed quiet last offseason to gear up for a monster offseason this winter. Not being in the mix for Yamamoto would put a slight damper on that (one that could certainly be quelled by landing Shohei Ohtani, but still).
As for the Mets and Yankees, both clubs are in dire need of starting pitching, have the resources, and are expected to make a big push. Now we'll have to see how this pseudo-Subway Series in free agency will play out and which side of the Big Apple Yamamoto wants to end up on: Queens or the Bronx.