The rising star of Japanese baseball, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, has been capturing the attention of the MLB market ever since he got posted on the free agency portal last month. His impressive performances have not only garnered attention in Japan but have also sparked interest from scouts and enthusiasts across the Pacific.
MLB teams thronged Japan earlier this year to scout the ace pitcher while he produced wonders for Orix Buffaloes. The New York Yankees, meanwhile, emerged as top suitors. However, the competition remains stiff. Moreover, Yoshinobu Yamamoto recently added another feather to his cap, which could eventually increase his stakes in the MLB market.
MLB Free Agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto Wins 3rd MVP In A Row! Enters Elite Club!
Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher, has been making waves in NPB with the Orix Buffaloes. In 2023, he went 16-6 with a 1.21 ERA and a 0.884 WHIP in 23 appearances. Not only that, the ace pitcher struck out 169 batters and walked 28 in 164 innings. Owing to these exceptional numbers, Yamamoto unlocked a new milestone. On Tuesday, the pitcher was awarded his third successive Pacific League MVP award. With that, Yamamoto is now the only pitcher after Ichiro Suzuki and Hisashi Yamadato to win MVP three years in a row. Having said that, the newly unlocked feat will elevate Yamamoto’s stature in MLB in the coming weeks.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto wins the MVP in Japan for the THIRD straight year— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) November 28, 2023
He joins Ichiro Suzuki and Hisashi Yamada as the only players to win MVP three years in a row 🏆 pic.twitter.com/LWtJzBDXF0
Yoshinobu Yamamoto got posted last month and has until January 4 to lock in a deal. So far, the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox, amongst many, emerged as top suitors. Moreover, MLB insider Jeff Passan expects the pitcher to earn nothing less than $200 million. Undoubtedly, it’s a steep ask. But the upside Yamamoto brings to any team whatsoever should nullify monetary doubts. Thus, Yamamoto’s off-season rendezvous would be an interesting ride for the fans. While the Yankee fans are excited, competition cannot be ruled out. As the anticipation builds regarding his future, one thing is clear: Yamamoto’s success in Japan is setting the stage for an exciting chapter in his career. A kind that could see him become a sought-after name in the ever-expanding world of MLB.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s Negotiation Schedule Forces Yankees To Issue Ultimatum!
MLB insiders earlier reported that Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s team had conveyed a negotiation schedule to interested teams. As per the schedule, teams can approach the ace pitcher via Zoom call as he is in Japan. Once a final list is shortlisted, Yamamoto will officially visit the United States to hold in-person meetings before taking a final call. Now, this could take weeks, which is a point of concern for the New York Yankees, a team with extensive off-season plans.
As per rumors, the Yankees reportedly issued an ultimatum to Yoshinobu Yamamoto to decide on his future as soon as possible. His delay in negotiations is stalling the Bronx Bombers’ other off-season plans. Winter meetings are happening next week, and there is still no clarity on the ace pitcher’s intent. Overall, the New York-based outfit’s dream pursuit is getting murkier, and the next few days will remain crucial.