MLB Rumors: Clear favorite emerges in Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes

Yoshinobu Yamamoto's impressive career numbers in the NPB suggest he could be a Cy Young candidate in MLB, making him a coveted addition for the New York Yankees.

Republic of Korea v Japan - Baseball - Olympics: Day 12
Republic of Korea v Japan - Baseball - Olympics: Day 12 / Koji Watanabe/GettyImages
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Since Yoshinobu Yamamoto posted to MLB, almost every big market team has been interested. The 25-year-old pitching phenom could make a decision soon, and signs are pointing to a potential deal with a certain team.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, the New York Yankees are the favorites to land Yamamoto. If this turns to fruition, the Bronx would be roaring. Rumors suggest he could pull in around $300 million, but the Yankees seem like they’re all in on returning as the evil empire with the recent moves.

The 25-year-old spent seven seasons in the NPB. He finished with a career 1.82 career ERA. Kodai Senga finished his NPB career with a 2.59 ERA. In his very first season with the New York Mets, Senga finished with a 2.98 ERA.

Yamamoto's NPB numbers indicate he could be a Cy Young candidate in MLB. He’s also entering the prime years of his career. The upside Yamamoto offers is exactly why every team wants him.

Yankees want Yamamoto and the 28th World Series

After trading for Juan Soto, the Yankees now have one of the most stacked lineups in all of MLB. Aaron Judge is a generational hitter, Giancarlo Stanton is a former MVP, and Anthony Rizzo is a former World Series champ.

Now think about New York’s rotation with Yamamoto in it. Gerrit Cole is coming off a Cy Young season. Pairing up those two at the front of the rotation would be lethal. If Nestor Cortes Jr. and Carlos Rodón get back on track, the Yankees will have four of the best pitchers in the American League in the same rotation.

It makes sense why General Manager Brian Cashman is intrigued by the idea of bringing in Yamamoto. The 25-year-old threw the second no-hitter of his career in September while the Yankees GM was in attendance. After the accomplishment, he reportedly turned to Cashman and said “Pay me.”

New York has a history of bringing in great Japanese players. Hideki Matsui, Masahiro Tanaka, and even Ichiro Suzuki all played in the pinstripes. The Yankees are one of the most prominent franchises in the entire world, so it would make sense why Yamamoto would be interested in going to the Bronx.

A few days ago, Cashman met with Yamamoto and his agents in California. They do have some heavyweight challengers in the sweepstakes for the 25-year-old. The Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Mets are all making plays.

Signing the Japanese phenom would propel the Yankees from playoff contenders to World Series contenders. They’re one of the most iconic franchises in sports, and they want to win again. Yamamoto could be the perfect addition to get one step closer to the 28th trophy.

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