Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Shohei Ohtani

As the MLB off-season unravels, teams, including the New York Yankees, are scouting potential fits across the free agency market. For the Bronx Bombers, upgrading the outfield and starting rotation will remain the top priority. While many players have been linked to the club, a couple of Japanese stars topped every potential candidate list.

Two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani and Orix Buffaloes ace starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto are expected to be top-selling MLB free agents this off-season. While the New York Yankees might not take the bait for Ohtani, the front office’s heavy interest in Yamamoto is no longer a secret. Amid this, we have fresh updates on the duo’s current free agency status.


Yamamoto, Ohtani Hot Picks For MLB Teams This Off-Season!

Shohei Ohtani
Credit: MLB.com

As the MLB offseason unfolds, all eyes are on Japanese baseball stars Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani, with both players poised to command significant contracts from MLB teams. As far as Ohtani is concerned, a new dark horse suitor has emerged in the name of the Atlanta Braves. Jon Morosi of MLB.com says that the Braves could stand a strong chance considering Ohtani’s appeal to join a competitive roster. The Braves have not won 100 games after the World Series title win in 2021. Moreover, the franchise possesses a pool of young talent and enough money to spend freely on the two-way sensation. Irrespective of where the Othani lands, nothing can stop him from being the most expensive free agent the major league has witnessed to date.

On the other hand, Yoshinobu Yamamoto has issued a timeline to interested MLB teams. As per his agency, teams can start approaching Yamamoto by next week virtually via a Zoom call since the pitcher is in Japan. Once the ace and his agency shortlist the final list of suitors, Yoshinobu will pay the United States a visit. He will then meet the shortlisted teams in person to negotiate a final deal. The Yankees have emerged as a strong landing spot so far. Yamamoto is inclined towards the bustling New York sporting culture. That could spark a bidding war between the Mets and Yankees. Nevertheless, after Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto could bag the second most expensive contract of this off-season. Overall, the fans must expect overseas Japanese stars to rule free agency this year.

Yamamoto Places New Deal Breaker Demand To Potential Suitors!

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

In just a week of getting posted on the MLB free agency portal, Yoshinobu Yamamoto has caught wind of his stature. He now understands how almost half of the MLB wants him in their fold. Thus, the Japanese ace is playing hard to get. Firstly, he has structured a negotiation schedule on his terms and at his convenience. On top of that, Yamamoto has put forth new demands.

As per Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s agency, the pitcher wants to be on a team with Japanese players as he does not want to feel left out. Having fellow Japanese comrades alongside makes him feel at home, and thus, he won’t budge on that demand. Now, this new demand could solely rule out a lot of teams, including the New York Yankees, as they do not have any player of Japanese nationality on the active roster.