SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Report: Yoshinobu Yamamoto has met with Giants, plans to meet with Dodgers

Dec 12, 2023, 12:45 PM | Updated: 1:21 pm

Yoshinobu Yamamoto #18 of Team Japan delivers a pitch against Team Mexico during the fifth inning d...

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 20: Yoshinobu Yamamoto #18 of Team Japan delivers a pitch against Team Mexico during the fifth inning during the World Baseball Classic Semifinals at loanDepot park on March 20, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Highly coveted Japanese free-agent right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto has already met with the New York Yankees, New York Mets and San Francisco Giants, and per multiple media reports, he’s slated to talk with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and a few other teams soon.

Despite recently shelling out $700 million to Shohei Ohtani (though $680 million will be deferred until after the contract expires), the Dodgers are looking to boost their rotation and are expected to meet with Yamamoto this week, per a Bally Sports report.

While New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is the only major league pitcher to sign a contract over $300 million (nine years, $324 million), speculation around baseball has Yamamoto potentially landing a nine-year deal at $30-34 million per season.

Yamamoto has until Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. ET, when the 45-day window on his posting closes, to sign with a major league team. Per The Athletic, Yamamoto is expected to pick a team “within the next two weeks or so.”

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.

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.

–Field Level Media

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