Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Credit: as.com

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a standout pitcher for the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, is all set to become the most sought-after pitcher in this MLB free agency, only second to two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani. After this successive MVP season with Buffaloes, Yamamoto believed that 2024 was the right time to move overseas.

Thus, he opted for a switch to MLB as Orix Buffaloes accepted his request to commence the player posting process. The process concluded last month, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto is now officially a free agent. He has until January 4 to reach an agreement or else return back to Japan. However, the possibility of the latter is too low. Having said that, the pitcher is set to take a big step to accomplish his mega major league dream.


Yoshinobu Yamamoto Likely To Visit America Next Week!

Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Buffaloes pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is 7-3 with a 1.89 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 11 starts. | KYODO

Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto has captured the attention of MLB scouts and executives with his impressive performances in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). Owing to the increased hype, the pitcher decided to switch and explore the Major League market. Subsequently, he was granted free agent status after the conclusion of player posting process. Since the moment he was posted, teams thronged his agency office’s phone line with respective offers. While Yamamoto wanted to extend his negotiation schedule till Christmas, increased competition and an ultimatum from top suitor New York Yankees forced the pitcher to prepone his first-ever USA visit.

Reporter Mike Puma of the New York Mets has learned that Yoshinobu Yamamoto could visit the USA as early as next week to further hold in-person meetings with interested MLB teams. Subsequently, negotiations will be held before the pitcher makes up his mind. Moreover, as per market rumors, giant teams like the LA Dodgers, the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, and the New York Mets are ready with a lucrative offer in hand. Having said that, the fans must keep tabs on the movement of the Yankees as they emerge as favorites to land the Japanese ace. Apparently, Hal Steinbrenner is ready to offer over a $200 million contract to lure Yamamoto. However, the Mets and Cubs are equally into the fight, and thus, the Yanks would have to navigate their way through.

MLB Hype Forces Yankees To Issue Ultimatum To Yamamoto!

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Brian Cashman

Interestingly, the New York Yankees are taking a hard approach to Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s pursuit. Despite being favorites, the front office seems willing to give a hard pass as the pitcher continues to stall the negotiation process. As per the fresh rumor, Yamamoto is taking his time to decide. He is playing hard to get after receiving intense hype from MLB teams.

However, Yamamoto’s shift in approach is foiling the Yankees’ other off-season plans. Thus, to tighten the leash, the Yankees apparently issued a final ultimatum to Yamamoto. They have given him a deadline to decide on his future. If he wants to land in the Bronx, the ace pitcher must make up his mind within the undisclosed timeline. Or else, the Bronx Bombers are willing to move past him to secure their other free-agency targets.