Report: Yoshinobu Yamamoto bidding expected to begin Monday

Dec 18, 2023, 11:40 AM

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 20: Yoshinobu Yamamoto #18 of Team Japan pitches in the eighth inning agains...

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

With Shohei Ohtani’s free agency in the rearview, all eyes are now on free agent pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who appears to be closing in on selecting his MLB home.

Multiple reports surfaced over the weekend stating that the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox, two teams widely viewed as on the outside looking in regarding Yamamoto’s services, had offered the 25-year-old contracts in the neighborhood of $300 million.

On Monday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that those reports are false, as Yamamoto and his agent, Joel Wolfe, had asked interested teams not to discuss contract terms during his initial meetings with franchises such as the Giants, Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, as well as teams viewed as favorites like the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Passan reports that the bidding process is expected to begin on Monday, and a resolution to Yamamoto’s free agency could be near.

While the 25-year-old was expected to receive a contract in the neighborhood of $200 million, there is growing certainty among MLB insiders that Yamamoto will sign a contract near or past the $300 million mark.

The highest contract ever handed out to a starting pitcher belongs to New York Yankees ace and 2023 American League Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole, who inked a nine-year, $324 million contract before the 2020 season.

Could Yamamoto shatter Cole’s record before he throws a single pitch in an MLB uniform? We should get an answer this week, as it has been widely reported that Yamamoto expects to pick his new team before Christmas Day.

More on star free agent pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The 25-year-old Yamamoto spent the past six-plus seasons with the Orix Buffaloes, compiling a 70-29 record with one save and a 1.82 ERA in 172 games. He has struck out 922 batters over 897 innings.

In 23 games in 2023, he finished with a 16-6 record and 1.21 ERA with 169 strikeouts in 164 innings. Those numbers helped him to his third straight Triple Crown in the Pacific League of Nippon Professional Baseball as he led the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts.

YouTube video

Only three pitchers in Major League Baseball have won the pitching Triple Crown three times — Sandy Koufax, Walter Johnson and Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Yamamoto also has won the Eiji Sawamura Award, which equals the Cy Young Award, three times.

The 5-foot-10 Yamamoto won a gold medal with Japan in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and another in the World Baseball Classic earlier this year.

SF Giants Schedule

Spring Training

  • February 13-15th – Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training workouts
  • February TBD – Full squad workouts
  • Saturday, February 24th – Spring Training opener vs. Chicago Cubs

Regular Season

  • Thursday, March 28th-Sunday, March 31st – @ San Diego Padres
  • Monday, April 1st-Wednesday, April 3rd – @ Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Friday, April 5th-Sunday, April 7th – vs. San Diego Padres

Thank you for reading Follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


San Francisco Giants

Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants hugs his team after his final baseball game agains...

Joseph Jarosz

Brandon Crawford says goodbye to Giants fans, says he wasn’t wanted back

Brandon Crawford thanked the San Francisco Giants organization and fans in a social media post, but added more clarity as to why he wasn't brought back to the team that drafted him.

4 hours ago

Jung Hoo Lee (51) of the San Francisco Giants poses for a portrait at Scottsdale Stadium on Februar...

Amiliano Fragoso

Watch: Jung-Hoo Lee hits first home run in Giants uniform

Jung-Hoo Lee hit his first home run with the San Francisco Giants Thursday, blasting one over the center field wall against the Diamondbacks.

24 hours ago

Tristan Beck #43 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Oracle Park...

Joseph Jarosz

Giants pitcher Tristan Beck ruled out for opening day after aneurysm in arm discovered

San Francisco Giants pitcher Tristan Beck has been ruled out for opening day after an aneurysm was discovered in the pitcher's arm.

1 day ago

General view as a rainbow forms behind Oracle Park during the fourth inning between the San Francis...

Joseph Jarosz

Rob Manfred eliminates Oracle Park as possible temporary home for A’s

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Oracle Park is seen as a longshot as a potential home for the Oakland Athletics in 2025.

1 day ago

Mitch Haniger #17 of the San Francisco Giants hits a sixth inning two-run double against the Colora...

BRANDON GUSTAFSON Assistant Editor of

Mitch Haniger, who never wanted to leave Mariners, happy to return

After a year away, Mitch Haniger is back with the Seattle Mariners. And that’s something he’s very excited about.

2 days ago

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 03: Matt Chapman #26 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a single agains...

Frankie Cartoscelli

MLB insider says the SF Giants are the best fit for Matt Chapman

MLB Network's Jon Morosi says that the San Francisco Giants are the best fit for free agent third baseman Matt Chapman.

3 days ago

Report: Yoshinobu Yamamoto bidding expected to begin Monday