Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the other Japanese who arouses passions among MLB teams

The spotlight of free agency was on the Japanese Shohei Ohtani, who signed in recent days the largest contract in the history of the Major Leagues. The two-way player – although he will not pitch in 2024 – agreed to a 10-year, $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It seemed that free agency remains quiet after that movement, but another Japanese arouses passions among MLB teams: Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

The right-handed pitcher, MVP in Japan, draws interest from at least half of the teams, but is seeking a multi-year contract close to $300 million.which reduces the list to just a handful of clubs such as the New York Yankees, their city neighbors the Mets, San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and, although it might not seem like it, their own Angeles Dodgers.

Yamamoto, in seven seasons in baseball in his country, has a record of 75 wins and 30 losses with an ERA of 1.72. His strikeout rate of 9.2 per nine innings, compared to two walks in the same number of innings, makes him the most sought-after pitcher in free agency. The 25-year-old pitcher is considered one of the best to come out of Japan in the last decade by several Major League scouts and has the potential to win the Cy Young Award in his first year.

The Japanese pitcher has already met with the Yankees and the Mets, but reports indicate that he is interested in listening to the Dodgers’ offer, because one of his dreams is to play alongside his compatriot Shohei Ohtani. The California team can fulfill his dream, but the other teams are still in the bidding.

Yamamoto has until January 4 at 5:00 pm ET to sign with a Major League team. But with clear interest from big-market MLB teams, the Japanese right-hander is not expected to take that long to make a decision.

According to The Athletic, several people within the baseball industry expect Yamamoto to pick a team “within the next two weeks or so.” So before the end of the year, the second Japanese pearl on the free market could know its future.