Rams TNF game could contain the answer to Yoshinobu Yamamoto free agency

Dodgers fans won't need a flight tracker to figure out where Yoshinobu Yamamoto is spending his Thursday night.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Yoshinobu Yamamoto / Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

Move over Taylor Swift, you're not the hottest celebrity sighting at an NFL game this week. Thursday Night Football between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints is now officially rebranded as Yoshinobu Yamamoto Watch 3000.

The most coveted free agent on the MLB market is reportedly weighing his options between heavy hitters like the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. So the rumor that he'll attend TNF with Shohei Ohtani feels significant.

Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that Yamamoto and Ohtani are "expected to be at the Rams game" at SoFi Stadium.

However, Jon Heyman of MLB Network poured cold water on that report, saying that the pitcher is not going to be in attendance.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic also reported that Yamamoto is not going to the Rams game, though Ohtani may be present.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani attending Rams vs. Saints on TNF

If the rumor is true, perhaps the outing is a purely social one between Ohtani and Yamamoto, who both play for Team Japan on the international stage. But it's also the first Rams home game since Ohtani signed with the Dodgers. His presence would likely be linked to his new team.

feed

Or maybe this confusion all stems from another routine meeting between Yamamoto and Dodgers reps. He met with the Yankees and Mets for a second time over the weekend. Los Angeles may be simply getting their follow-up as well and put him on the guest list for TNF in hope of him attending.

If Yamamoto and Ohtani are spotted, is that a sign that Yamamoto is leaning toward playing in Dodger Blue alongside Ohtani? If they aren't there, does the city of New York have cause for celebration?

Whatever the circumstances, you can bet every camera at SoFi will be on the lookout for the two hottest free agents to command headlines this winter.

Ohtani is seen as a huge factor in the Dodger's pursuit of Yamamoto. First and foremost, he signed a contract with massive amounts of deferred money, making it possible for LA to be in the mix for a player potentially worth a $300-million contract. Second, there's a personal connection between the two players as Japanese international teammates.

We'll see what other twists pop up before Yamamoto makes a decision.

Yamamoto Rumors. Red Sox still in, battle for NYC, why not Cubs?. Red Sox still in, battle for NYC, why not Cubs?. dark