Dec. 16, 3:50 p.m.
After meeting with Yoshinobu Yamamoto earlier this week, the Giants and Red Sox are among the teams making a strong push for the ace right-hander.
Both teams reportedly have an offer of more than $300 million on the table, according to Jim Bowden of CBS Sports.
He’s also scheduled to meet with reps from the Blue Jays at some point if he hasn’t done so already.
Dec. 14, 4:40 p.m.
Japanese ace right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto is reportedly meeting with a Phillies contingent on Thursday, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
He already met with the Yankees earlier this week and a Mets contingent, including owner Steve Cohen, traveled to Japan a couple of weeks ago to meet with him.
Yamamoto is also scheduled to meet with reps from the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.
Dec. 13, 9:30 p.m.
The Dodgers are trying to shore up their starting rotation, but a new report suggests that money is not a problem for Los Angeles.
Yamamoto met with the Dodgers on Tuesday — a meeting Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani attended. The right-hander is also scheduled to meet with the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Phillies.
He already met with the Yankees on Monday and a Mets contingent traveled to Japan a couple of weeks ago to meet with Yamamoto.
Dec. 13, 3:12 p.m.
Following a meeting in Japan with the Mets and meetings in Los Angeles with the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers, Yamamoto has three more meetings set.
They will be with the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Phillies, according to Jon Heyman of The New York Post.
Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, and Freddie Freeman were at the Dodgers’ meeting with Yamamoto on Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to Fabian Ardaya and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
In addition to the Dodgers’ pursuit of Yamamoto, they are in talks to acquire right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow and outfielder Manuel Margot from the Rays, per multiple reports.
Yamamoto has been in Los Angeles taking meetings with interested teams since that is where his agency is located.
He met with the Yankees in LA on Monday.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Wednesday that the Mets — who sent a contingent to Japan to meet with Yamamoto a couple of weeks ago — “have steadily improved their standing” in their pursuit of the Japanese ace.
Yamamoto has until Jan. 4 to choose his MLB team, but the belief is that he will decide before then.
Dec. 12, 5:40 p.m.
Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto is reportedly meeting with the Dodgers on Tuesday.
According to Russell Dorsey, the right-hander is meeting with the team from Los Angeles. Earlier in the day, it was reported that Yamamoto was meeting with the Red Sox “in the coming days” along with two or three more teams. It seems the Dodgers are one of those other teams.
Yamamoto is also expected to meet with the Blue Jays after already having met with the Mets, Yankees and Giants.
After signing Shohei Ohtani for 10 years, $700 million, the Dodgers can remain in on Yamamoto thanks to the two-way star’s willingness to defer a large portion of his contract.
Dec. 12, 8:06 a.m.
Yamamoto, who is in the United States for meetings with interested MLB teams, will meet with the Red Sox “in the coming days” along with “two or three” more teams, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
One of the additional teams will be the Blue Jays, per MLB.com.
Yamamoto had a meeting with Mets owner Steve Cohen and president of baseball operations David Stearns in Japan a few weeks ago, met with the Yankees’ contingent on Monday, and has also met in person with the Giants.
The Dodgers, who recently signed Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year deal worth $700 million, are also still in on Yamamoto.
Because of heavy deferrals, Los Angeles’ deal for Ohtani will result in the team being charged only $46 million toward the luxury tax for the next 10 seasons. That’s still a massive number, but gives them wiggle room for pursuits this offseason of Yamamoto and/or others.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Monday that it is not yet clear whether Yamamoto will have a second meeting with the Mets.
There have not yet been any reports of the star pitcher taking second in-person meetings with any interested teams.
Per Martino, Yamamoto is expected to decide on his new team before Christmas, which is about 10 days before his Jan. 4 deadline to sign.
Dec. 11, 7:49 p.m.
Despite signing Shohei Ohtani to the highest paying contract in MLB history, the Los Angeles Dodgers are not done as they have turned their sights to Yoshinobu Yamamoto and are “aggressively pursuing” the right-hander, according to Bally Sports’ Russell Dorsey.
It was reported on Monday that $680 million of Ohtani’s $700 million contract will be deferred. Ohtani will make $2 million per year over the duration of his 10-year deal and $68 million a year in deferred payments the following 10 years.
This agreement, which was reportedly Ohtani’s idea, will give Los Angeles the flexibility to continue spending this offseason on free agents such as Yamamoto who is expected to net a deal over $250 million. The two sides are expected to meet later this week.
As for the Mets, SNY’s Andy Martino reported Monday — the day the Yankees met with Yamamoto — that the Amazins’ are “still very much in this thing” when it comes to landing the Japanese star.
Dec. 11, 4:03 p.m.
According to YES Network’s Jack Curry, the Yankees, who were meeting with Yamamoto on Monday, remain optimistic about their pursuit of the the right-hander. The Yanks are still considered one of the favorites to land the Japanese star.
Dec. 11, 2:25 p.m.
The sweepstakes to sign right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto are heating up as the Japanese-born pitcher is in America meeting with teams and the San Francisco Giants reportedly met with the 25-year-old on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
The Yankees are meeting with Yamamoto on Monday. The Mets – including owner Steve Cohen and president of baseball operations David Stearns – met with the pitcher and his family earlier in December in Japan.
Dec. 11, 9:40 a.m.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner will meet with Yoshinobu Yamamoto on Monday in Los Angeles.
Martino added the Yankees “are in a solid position in this sweepstakes.”
Dec. 9, 7:12 p.m.
The news of Shohei Ohtani signing a record-breaking deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers broke on Saturday afternoon, and although the “big fish” of free agents has a new contract, Los Angeles is still interested in Yamamoto.
According to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, the Dodgers are still interested in Yamamoto and can still afford him.
Heyman, however, is uncertain whether the Ohtani deal has affected their chances one way or another. The perceived favorites for the Japanese ace are still 1. Mets 2. Yankees 3. Dodgers, per Heyman.
SNY’s Andy Martino reports that Steve Cohen‘s trip to Japan put the Mets in better position to sign Yamamoto. Also, people involved in free agency believe Yamamoto will sign shortly before Christmas.
Dec. 7, 2:53 p.m.
In the wake of Steve Cohen and David Stearns‘ meeting with Yamamoto and his family last week in Japan, SNY’s Andy Martino reports that it could be at least a week and perhaps two until the star right-hander chooses a team.
In addition to the Mets and Yankees, Martino notes that the Giants, Dodgers (if they don’t land Shohei Ohtani), and Cardinals could all be in on Yamamoto.
As far as the Mets specifically, Martino had this to say during a Q&A with Steve Gelbs that will air tonight on SNY’s Baseball Night in New York at 6 p.m.:
“The Mets are a real contender for Yamamoto,” Martino explained. “Talking to his people, they’re taking the Mets’ candidacy seriously — so this is something to watch, but not something to watch within the next few days or even potentially the week.”
Dec. 7, 1:42 p.m.
The Red Sox had interest in a reunion with Eduardo Rodriguez, but preferred to wait on Yamamoto and fellow free agent Shota Imanaga, reports Jon Heyman of The New York Post.
With Boston focused on the two Japanese stars, Rodriguez signed a four-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Yamamoto is expected to travel to the United States and meet with interested teams, including a meeting with the Yankees this coming Monday.
While Yamamoto has until Jan. 4 to sign with an MLB team, it is not expected for him to take that long to decide.
The timeline isn’t clear yet on Imanaga, a left-hander who could possibly get more than Kodai Senga, who signed a five-year deal worth $75 million with the Mets last offseason.
Dec. 6, 7:45 p.m.
As the Winter Meetings come to a close, seven teams have reportedly emerged as “serious suitors” for Yamamoto.
The Yankees, Mets, Giants, Dodgers and Blue Jays are five of the known teams who are in on Yamamoto, according to a report by The Athletic. There are also two unidentified clubs in the mix.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported that Mets owner Steve Cohen flew out to Japan last week to meet with the right-hander. Martino also reported that the Yankees are willing to raise their payroll if it means acquiring both Juan Soto and Yamamoto.
The Red Sox and Cubs have also been linked to Yamamoto in recent weeks, but it’s unclear if they are the two unidentified teams.
Martino reports that Yamamoto is set to meet with teams, including the Yankees and Mets, next week when he travels to the United States.
Dec. 6, 1:16 p.m.
Mets owner Steve Cohen flew to Japan last week to meet with Yamamoto, reports SNY’s Andy Martino.
Per Martino, Cohen and Yamamoto ate at a French-Japanese restaurant, and were said to have had a “great meeting.”
While in Japan, Cohen also met Yamamoto’s family.
Will Sammon of The Athletic first mentioned Cohen’s trip to Japan.
The Mets have made Yamamoto their top target, Martino reiterated on Wednesday, adding that there is “stiff competition” but that the Mets are “giving it everything they have.”
Yamamoto is expected to travel to the United States and meet with interested teams, including the Mets and Yankees, next week.
Multiple recent reports have indicated that Yamamoto’s eventual contract could near $300 million, which does not include a large posting fee that will be paid to his Japanese team.
The expectation has been that Yamamoto could sign in the middle of December — a timeline that seems to be on track.
Dec. 5, 1:48 p.m.
Yamamoto is one of the “top priorities” for the Red Sox at the Winter Meetings, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
The Sox are coming off a last-place finish, and are reportedly not among the finalists for Shohei Ohtani, which could conceivably allow them to go all-in on Yamamoto.
The right-hander is generating lots of buzz but is unlikely to sign before the meetings end on Wednesday, SNY’s Andy Martino reported earlier this week.
In addition to Yamamoto, the market is being held up by Ohtani, who is expected to sign before his compatriot.
There are multiple teams reportedly still in the mix for Ohtani who are also interested in signing Yamamoto, including the Blue Jays and Giants.
Dec. 4, 4:18 p.m.
The Blue Jays and Angels are among the teams with interest in Yamamoto, reports Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.
The Jays and Angels also have interest in Shohei Ohtani, and would likely be unable to sign both Ohtani and Yamamoto.
The Mets and Yankees have long been linked to Yamamoto and remain in on him, SNY’s Andy Martino has reported.
The Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, and Giants have also been linked to the Japanese ace.
Per Martino, Yamamoto is unlikely to sign during the Winter Meetings.
He is expected to travel back to the United States after the meetings and meet with teams that are finalists for him.
Dec. 3, 7:29 p.m.
The Mets, according to SNY’s Andy Martino, “are still in on Yamamoto.”
However, “that won’t happen in Nashville” at the Winter Meetings, Martino said.
Yamamoto’s decision is expected to come after this week’s meetings, which run from Dec. 4-6.
Dec. 1, 9:43 a.m.
The price for Yamamoto is “growing by the day,” reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who notes that multiple executives believe the floor for the Japanese star’s eventual contract will be $200 million.
However, the cost for Yamamoto could reach more than $250 million, per ESPN.
An eight-year deal worth $250 million would mean an average annual value of $31.25 million.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Thursday that Yamamoto is “intrigued by the iconography and history of the Yankees and Dodgers,” and that the Mets “have a deep desire to sign him and deeper pockets than anyone.”
Regarding the Mets’ pursuit, Martino noted that they’re “real players” and that they will “try their best to sign him.”
In addition to the Yankees, Mets, and Dodgers, the Red Sox, Cubs, and Giants are among the teams that have been linked to Yamamoto.
Nov. 29, 4:35 p.m.
In addition to pursuing two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Dodgers are believed to be a strong contender for Yoshinobu Yamamoto, per SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino.
Martino said if the Dodgers fail to sign Ohtani they could be a major threat to the Yankees’ and Mets’ chances at getting a deal done with the 25-year-old Japanese ace.
Martino reported last week that Yamamoto was starting to speak with interested teams via phone or Zoom and league sources said he would narrow down the teams after those initial meetings. The right-hander will travel back to the United States from Japan to meet with finalists in person after the Winter Meetings (Dec. 4-7).
It was reported earlier this week that LA’s division rival San Francisco Giants are prioritizing Ohtani or Yamamoto above other options this season, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.
Nov. 22, 1:30 p.m.
It did not take long for MLB teams to start making contact with Yoshinobu Yamamoto‘s agent after his 45-day negotiating window opened on Tuesday morning.
The 25-year-old’s agent, Joel Wolfe of Wasserman, told the Kyodo News that 11 to 14 teams have already expressed interest in the right-hander.
“This is by far the player with the most interested teams that I have ever seen at the beginning of free agency,” Wolfe said, adding that Yamamoto has expressed no reservations about joining a team that already has a Japanese player or any limitations when it comes to geography.
As far as the immediate interest from around a dozen teams, Wolfe called it a “perfect storm” of supply and demand.
“It’s what we call a perfect storm, where you have one of the finest young pitchers in the world who also is just 25 years old,” he said, via Kyodo News. “It’s generational. Something like this only happens once every 10 or 15 years.”
Nov. 20, 12:20 p.m.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto has been posted by his Japanese club, the Orix Buffaloes, and MLB clubs have been notified, according to multiple reports.
The window to negotiate with the 25-year-old right-hander opens on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 8 a.m. ET.
Yamamoto is expected to meet with interested teams in early December, SNY’s Andy Martino reported. And as of now, he is not requiring interested teams to show them their ballpark or host them in their home city.
The signing club will have until 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024 – when the 45-day negotiating window closes – to submit terms to the league.
Nov. 20, 8:40 a.m.
The Philadelphia Phillies made the first big move of the offseason, re-signing ace Aaron Nola to a seven-year, $172 million deal on Sunday. And even after that big outlay of cash, the club reportedly remains in the market for Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the Phils will look to add to their pitching depth and plan to be “pretty aggressive” in pursuing the right-hander.
Coffey notes that if they don’t settle on the right price, the club “won’t push for a deal.” And Matt Gelb of The Athletic similarly reported that sources said Philadelphia “will not be a top bidder” for the 25-year-old after finalizing the Nola deal.
Yamamoto is expected to be posted on Monday.
Nov. 17, 2:32 p.m.
Yamamoto will be posted on Monday, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.
The 45-day negotiating window for MLB teams interested in signing Yamamoto will open on Tuesday.
While Yamamoto has the full 45 days to sign, he can agree to a deal at any point once the window is open.
In addition to the Mets and Yankees, the Giants, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Cubs are among the teams that have been connected to Yamamoto.
The bidding for him is expected to be fierce, with a deal worth $30 million annually for eight years or more possible.
Nov. 15, 12:29 p.m.
The Dodgers are “among the most interested teams” in Yamamoto, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Los Angeles is in serious need of starting pitching, with Clayton Kershaw a free agent, Walker Buehler and Dustin May coming off elbow surgery, and Tony Gonsolin out for 2024 after having Tommy John surgery.
The Dodgers have long been linked to Yamamoto, as have the Mets, Yankees, Giants, and Red Sox.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Tuesday that Yamamoto “is totally open to New York and a big market,” adding:
“It’s the first free agent showdown, potentially, between the Mets and Yankees in the Steve Cohen era. He and Hal Steinbrenner have not been after the same guy yet. The Mets really want him, and so do the Yankees.”
Nov. 10, 8:42 a.m.
The Mets are “all over” Yamamoto, reports SNY’s Andy Martino, who adds that “word around the game” is that the Yankees will also be “strong contenders” to sign him.
Per Martino, Yamamoto is expected to be posted by his Japanese club soon.
Once Yamamoto is posted, he will have 45 days to agree to a deal with an MLB team.
In addition to the Mets and Yankees, Yamamoto will also draw interest from the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks, reports Jon Heyman of The New York Post.
The 25-year-old Yamamoto will be the biggest pitcher on a free agent market that will also include Blake Snell and Aaron Nola, but trails off after that, with Jordan Montgomery at the top of the second tier of pitchers.
The expectation is that Yamamoto will receive a contract that eclipses $200 million.
Nov. 8, 10:38 p.m.
As the baseball world waits for Yoshinobu Yamamoto to be posted by the Orix Buffaloes, clubs may be able to negotiate with the Japanese star soon.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the posting window for Yamamoto will be open “soon,” likely within the week. Once he’s posted, MLB teams will have 45 days to negotiate with his representative and agree on a contract.
Of course, Yamamoto can agree to a deal before the 45 days are up like Boston Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida did last season.
Nov. 5, 9:18 a.m.
The Orix Buffaloes officially announced Sunday following their Game 7 loss in the 2023 Japan Series that they’ll post star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto to MLB teams.
“We would like to inform you that the Orix Buffaloes have approved the transfer of pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto to the Major League Baseball (MLB) team in the United States through posting. We will proceed with the application procedure in accordance with the ‘Japan-U.S. Athlete Contract Agreement,'” the team announced, as translated by Google.
“The next step is the formal declaration of the posting window, which could happen in the coming days,” per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.
Yamamoto threw a complete game with 14 strikeouts in his final game with Orix in a Game 6 win. He finishes his career in Japan with a 75-30 record and a 1.72 ERA over 188 games and 967.2 IP, to go along with a 0.915 WHIP and 986 strikeouts.
Nov. 4, 10:22 a.m.
Thanks to a stellar pitching from Yoshinobu Yamamoto of the Orix Buffaloes in Game 6, the 2023 Japan Series will go to a decisive Game 7.
With his team down 3-2 in the series to the Hanshin Tigers, Yamamoto came up huge and left it all on the field with a complete game where he allowed one run on nine hits, no walks and struck out 14 hitters on 138 pitches in a 5-1 win.
The righty’s 14 strikeouts is a new Japan Series record in a single game, surpassing Yu Darvish‘s 13-strikeout performance in the 2007 Japan Series.
Game 7 will be played on Sunday at 4:30 a.m. EST.
Oct. 30, 12:50 p.m.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto has etched his name in the Nippon Professional Baseball history books, becoming just the second pitcher ever to win three straight Sawamura Awards, Japan’s equivalent of the Cy Young.
Yamamoto joins Masaichi Kaneda, a Japanese Baseball Hall of Famer and the only 400-game winner in NPB history, as Sawamura winners in three straight seasons (Kaneda took home the award in 1956-58). Kaneda also has the most strikeouts in NPB history and is considered one of the greatest Japanese pitchers of all time.
The 25-year-old Yamamoto pitched to a 1.21 ERA this past season with 169 strikeouts in 164 innings. He also threw a no-hitter for the second consecutive season.
Oct. 27, 11:20 a.m.
If Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto becomes available to MLB teams this offseason, the contract reportedly will not be a cheap one.
There is a good chance that the bidding for Yamamoto “will start somewhere in the $200 million range for six or seven years,” Mike Puma of the New York Post reported Friday, citing a person connected to the front office of a team that may pursue the 25-year-old pitcher.
A deal of that size would be the biggest deal ever for a Japanese pitcher signed to come to MLB, besting the Yankees’ seven-year, $155 million for 25-year-old Masahiro Tanaka in 2014. And would dwarf the five-year, $75 million deal the Mets shelled out for Kodai Senga last offseason as he entered his age-30 season.
A big-league talent evaluator who has seen both pitchers told Puma that while Senga’s famous splitter is “probably better,” Yamamoto “is a better pitcher, which is crazy to say because Senga is really good, too.”
Yamamoto is open to joining a big league rotation that already includes a Japanese pitcher, Puma added, citing a source.
Oct. 23, 8:49 a.m.
Yamamoto “covets the opportunity” to play in a big market, reports Will Sammon of The Athletic, who likens Yamamoto’s current line of thinking to the one fellow Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga had last offseason.
Meanwhile, Senga expressed to Mets management toward the end of the season that he wanted them to sign Yamamoto, per The Athletic, with Senga making it known in Japan that he wanted Yamamoto to sign with the Mets.
The Athletic also reported that Yamamoto would have no issues sharing his new team with another Japanese player.
In addition to the Mets, the Giants and Yankees are among the teams that have been linked to Yamamoto, with San Francisco making it known with their actions (they recently scouted Yamamoto in Japan) and words that they have serious interest in the 25-year-old.
Yamamoto is a near-perfect fit for the Mets, who have three holes in the starting rotation and are in serious need of a second high-impact pitcher to join Senga.
Oct. 20, 8:44 a.m.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was in Osaka, Japan on Wednesday to watch Yamamoto pitch in Game 1 of the Orix Buffaloes’ playoff series against the Chiba Lotte Marines, reports Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic.
Zaidi heaped praise on Yamamoto earlier this month.
“It’s been a pilgrimage over there from front office people to see him,” Zaidi said during an appearance on the Giants Talk Podcast. “He’s really one of the top starting pitchers in the world. I know it sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not.
“It sounds like a big statement, but yeah, I think both of those guys will attract some interest and we’re just continuing to do our work on them in anticipation of their posting in a couple of months.”
In addition to Yamamoto, Zaidi was referring to KBO MVP Jung Hoo Lee, who will also be posted this offseason.
The Giants have taken big swings on multiple elite free agents recently. They charged hard after Aaron Judge only to see him return to the Yankees, and had a deal in place this past offseason with Carlos Correa before things fell apart over his physical.
Oct. 5, 5:20 p.m.
The Mets and Yankees are expected to be on Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto but some rival GMs reportedly expect the team from Flushing to go big when he’s posted.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, some rival GMs feel the Mets will be a high bidder. The team has Kodai Senga, Yamamoto’s friend, on the roster and Yamamoto’s medicals are better than the Mets rookie. That likely means Yamamoto will sign a bigger contract than the $75 million the 30-year-old Senga got, although one GM believes Yamamoto’s size would give him pause. the right-hander is 5-foot-10.
One rival GM thought Yamamoto, 25, could garner as much as $200 million.
Aside from the two New York teams, the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cardinals, Phillies, Giants, Diamondbacks, Tigers and Rangers are among the team who have heavily scouted Yamamoto.
Sept. 12, 11:47 a.m.
The latest team to send one of their top executives to see Yamamoto pitch will be the Cubs, whose president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer will attend the star right-hander’s next start, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Per USA Today, there were 29 MLB scouts at Senga’s no-hitter last week.
Sept. 9, 12:40 p.m.
According to a league source, the other teams in attendance included the Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, and Kansas City Royals.
Aug. 18, 9:03 a.m.
Kodai Senga spoke about the possibility of the Mets signing Yamamoto, and said he’s happy to help when it comes to recruiting.
“I have known him since he was 20 years old,” Senga told the New York Post through an interpreter. “He’s been at the top level since he was very young, and I know he has a ton of talent. He is an amazing player.
“He’s an amazing pitcher all around. He has velocity, he can throw hard. He has good control and command. He can also throw off-speed that has a ton of break.”
“He still has the rest of the season to get through, healthy hopefully, and the posting system,” “I think once that goes through, the team might ask me and [Yamamoto] might ask me as well, and I would like to speak to both of them.”