The New York Yankees were the favorites to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto all along the offseason. They have been scouting the Japanese ace pitcher for a whole year. Back in September, Brian Cashman was even present during an Orix Buffaloes game. The General Manager applauded the 25-year-old for his no-hitter performance. Everything looked as if it was picture-perfect for the Bronx Bombers to welcome the Japanese All-Star.
The LA Dodgers really broke the hearts of the Yankees Nation. Moreover, the LA side looks like the new Evil Empire in the league as they not only stole Yoshinobu Yamamoto from the NY side but also got the biggest free agent this offseason. Now, the Dodgers look invincible with Shohei Ohtani and Yamamoto in the same lineup. But what went wrong for the Yankees?
What Did The Yankees Offer Yoshinobu Yamamoto?
Now, many fans and experts ask the question if the Bronx really had a shot at landing Yamamoto. The Yankees offered the righty pitcher $300 million for 10 years. On the other hand, the LA Dodgers got the Japanese ace pitcher for a 12-year contract worth $325 million. Hence, Yamamoto will earn $27 million annually. But the Yankees were willing to pay him $30 million annually. The difference is that the LA side offered him two years more and $25 million extra in their overall contract. Moreover, Yamamoto has an opt-out clause in his contract with the Dodgers after six years. It means he can be a free agent in his early 30s. Albeit, the Japanese ace pitcher has not pitched yet in the MLB, he’s got the largest single deal in the league’s history for a pitcher.
The previous biggest deal was $324 million between the Yankees and Gerrit Cole. Albeit, the $325 million Dodgers contract does change stuff, the Yankees sure did make a strong offer. But the Pinstripes could try and challenge the Dodgers offer as well. However, the Japanese ace pitcher in the end is moving to the Dodgers. The LA side has now crossed a billion-dollar mark in this offseason’s free agent signings. For 2024, the Dodgers really will be a side to watch out for. But the Yankees need to look elsewhere to find themselves a starting pitcher.
The Bronx Bombers Are No Longer The Evil Empire
Moreover, the Pinstripes already made headlines this offseason when they signed Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres. The real challenge begins when the superstar lefty outfielder hits free agency next year. Can the Yankees offer the Dominican slugger a big long-term contract that he deserves? If it was the old Evil Empire, then they could buy any superstar they wanted. But the Yankees, at present, look solid from their outfield. However, their bullpen needs a bit of reinforcement. They traded a lot of pitchers this offseason to strengthen their outfield.
The biggest hope was to land Yamamoto and build a perfect starting lineup alongside Gerrit Cole. If the Yankees could actually bring the Japanese ace pitcher in then they could have a lethal pitching department. Moreover, then the Bronx could claim to have the best offseason in decades. However, it is a pity that the Yankees are not the old Evil Empire anymore. But there is another team that can have the same nickname and that’s the Los Angeles Dodgers. Recently, C-Mac mentioned the Dodgers are the Evil Empire.