MLB Rumors: New York Mets are favored to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto
The New York Mets need starting pitching. Outside of Kodai Senga, New York shipped the top end of its rotation out of town at the trade deadline for prospects. Justin Verlander was sent to the Houston Astros. Max Scherzer was traded to the Texas Rangers. Jacob deGrom is nowhere to be found.
The Mets have long been interested in Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, which gives them a leg up on some contenders who were late to the game. Senga's ability to recruit international players should give them an edge as well.
While Billy Eppler is no longer part of the Mets organization, he played a major role in scouting Yamamoto, even attending several games in person. Steve Cohen has done the same, showing his support for the young Onix ace.
As Nightengale wrote on Sunday, the Mets are the perceived favorites for Yamamoto:
"Yamamoto dominated an offensive-challenged league (1.21 ERA), and was phenomenal in his last outing. He struck out 14 batters without a walk, yielding just one run in his complete-game, 5-1 victory in the Japan Series, throwing 138 pitches. Rival executives believe he’ll wind up signing with the Mets."
Yamamoto will land a contract north of $200 million if industry expectations are correct. By shedding both Scherzer and Verlander's contracts, the Mets can afford to go all-in on Yamamoto, especially if they are unable to sign Shohei Ohtani.