MLB Rumors: Phillies massive offer to Yoshinobu Yamamoto proves it was always Dodgers or bust

Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers over other interested suitors such as the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies offer was for more money.

Los Angeles Dodgers Workout
Los Angeles Dodgers Workout / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies tried and failed to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto this offseason before he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have Yamamoto the most guaranteed money a starting pitcher has ever received. The Phillies were willing to go even higher.

The following, per Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer, suggests the Phillies made a better offer to Yamamoto than the Dodgers. They even had Bryce Harper try to recruit him to Philly. None of it mattered in the end.

"After meeting for three hours Dec. 14 with Yamamoto and his agents, and making a presentation that featured a video appearance by Bryce Harper, the Phillies offered more money than any team, according to multiple industry sources. That includes the Dodgers, who won the Yamamoto auction with a 12-year, $325 million bid that stands as the largest guarantee for any pitcher ever," Lauber wrote.

MLB Rumors: Why Yoshinobu Yamamoto turned down more money from Phillies

So, why did Yamamoto turn down more money from the Phillies in favor of the Dodgers? I don't necessarily have the answers, but the ability to build a Japanese superteam of sorts with Shohei Ohtani -- and perhaps share the same rotation come 2025 -- is appetizing for two players who ultimately respect each other and won the World Baseball Classic together. Los Angeles is also much closer to Japan than Philadelphia.

When Ohtani was initially posted and signed with the Angels, familiarity played a major role. The high asian population in southern California, as well as direct flights to Japan, made Ohtani feel at home. He was even able to hire his own interpreter, who is now a Dodgers team employee as well.

There is only so much the Phillies could do, and it sounds like they put their best foot forward. Fans should be happy with John Middleton and the effort of the front office to bring a player like Yamamoto in, especially since the Phillies don't have an extensive history of signing Japanese players.