Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Arnab Bose

EXPLAINED: Why Yoshinobu Yamamoto Snubbed Yankees To Agree For A $325 Million Contract With Dodgers?

The New York Yankees had been the favorite to land the Japanese superstar free agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto. But it seems like a too far-fetched idea. However, the NY side was pinning their hopes on the 25-year-old Japanese reliever. They sacrificed a lot of pitchers this offseason to sign Juan Soto, Trent Grisham, and Alex Verdugo. Prior to the current offseason, the Pinstripes had a lot of options in their bullpen.

But the General Manager mentioned they would do anything to bring in a couple of solid lefty outfielders. On top of that, Brian Cashman also mentioned they are looking for a starting pitcher. That’s the reason why the Japanese free agent was on their minds. The Yankees Nation, who thought they would sign the Japanese, must feel terrible at present. As per recent information, sources told ESPN that the LA Dodgers got Yamamoto for 12 years. 

   

Righty Japanese Superstar Yamamoto Signs With Dodgers Snubbing The Yankees

Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Yoshinobu Yamamoto Source: MLB.com

Recently, Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed a 12-year contract worth $325 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It has been a long time discussion about where the Sawamura Award winner was heading to. The favorite was the New York Yankees. It even seemed like the Japanese was on board with that idea. But things changed dramatically as the LA Dodgers came into the picture and stole him away from the grabs of the Yankees. Yamamoto received the largest deal for a pitcher in recent times. The Dodgers will pay a $50.6 million additional posting fee to Yamamoto’s previous team, the Orix Buffaloes. As a result, the LA Dodgers are spending well over a billion dollars for their free agent signing this offseason. Now, they got the two Japanese.

Moreover, it makes sense for Yoshinobu Yamamoto to join the LA franchise because of the sheer presence of Shohei Ohtani. This year, Yamamoto was in the Japan team that won the World Baseball Classic. Ohtani led his national team to the championship beating the American side in the finals. Hence, it makes sense the two World Champions will play for the same team in the MLB. Moreover, Ohtani won’t pitch in 2024. Hence, the Dodgers have another great Japanese pitcher to cover that deficit. On the other hand, the Yankees signed two more players, a pitcher and an outfielder recently. Pitcher Nick Burdi and Outfielder Luis Gonzales signed minor league deals that contains spring training invites. 

The Dodgers Snatched Yamamoto Away From The NY Side

Brian Cashman Yankees GM
Brian Cashman Yankees GM Source: Fox News

Yamamoto had been very successful with Orix Buffaloes in the Nippon Professional Baseball. He could have made a perfect pair with the 2023 AL Cy Young Award winner. Gerrit Cole and Yoshinobu Yamamoto would be the ideal choice for the starting pitchers. To seal the deal, the Yankees had a couple of meetings with the Japanese superstar as well. But there was a fear of missing out on him as teams like the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers were in line to sign him.

Moreover, the Dodgers have been ruthless this free agency. First of all, they signed the biggest deal in sport’s history with the biggest free agent available in 2023. The LA Dodgers grabbed Shohei Ohtani for 10 years. Now, it seems they have actually sealed the deal with the other big Japanese free agent, Yoshinobu Yamamoto.