Yoshinobu Yamamoto signs 12-year, $325 million deal with Dodgers

Dec 22, 2023, 8:55 AM | Updated: 8:55 am

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 04: Yoshinobu Yamamoto #17 of Team Japan reacts as he walks back to the du...

(Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

The Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes are over.

According to multiple outlets, the Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement with Yamamoto on a 12-year, $325 million deal that will bring the right-handed Japanese ace to Southern California, where he will join his World Baseball Classic teammate, Shohei Ohtani.

Yamamoto’s contract breaks the MLB record for a starting pitcher, surpassing New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole’s nine-year, $324 million deal that was signed in the 2019 offseason.

The Yankees and New York Mets also offered Yamamoto contracts north of $300 million, but the right-hander will join Ohtani in Los Angeles to form a Japanese star-studded duo that will reside at Dodger Stadium for the next decade.

Shortly after the San Francisco Giants were informed that they were out of the running for Yamamoto, news broke that the Dodgers had won the sweepstakes.

While the Giants might have missed out on another star talent, several names on the free-agent market can still help push San Francisco toward contention in 2024.

Reigning National League Cy Young award winner Blake Snell is now the top arm available on the market, while World Series champion Jordan Montgomery is another option for the Giants. Former Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman has already met with San Francisco and is close with new manager Bob Melvin.

With Ohtani and Yamamoto off the board, the market will begin to heat up in the next week as we move within two months of the start of Spring Training.

More on Japanese star 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

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