Dodgers sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, spending $1B on free agents


Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Photo: Getty Images

Money talks. After entertaining offers from an array of clubs, Yoshinobu Yamamoto has reportedly agreed to a 12-year, $325 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The deal includes a pair of opt-outs, a $50 million signing bonus, and unlike Shohei Ohtani’s deal, no deferred money, per MLB insider Jeff Passan. This pact surpasses the seven-year, $155 million contract the New York Yankees gave Masahiro Tanaka in 2014.

While not always the most reliable source, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale is reporting that the Yankees’ offer was for $300 million.

Yamamoto, a five-time NPB All-Star debuted for the Orix Buffaloes in 2017, three days after he turned 19. In the last three years, the 25-year-old has won three straight Triple Crowns (best ERA, most wins, most strikeouts), three straight Eiji Sawamura Awards (the NPB equivalent to the Cy Young award), and three straight Pacific League MVPs. In his career, Yamamoto boasts a 1.82 ERA and 922 strikeouts over six seasons.

On the international stage, Yamamoto was a starting pitcher and All-Olympic player on Japan’s gold-medal-winning 2020 baseball team. Yamamoto and Japan also secured gold at the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Miami.

As a pitcher, Yamamoto has five above-average-or-better pitches in his arsenal. His four-seam fastball averages out to a high-end of 95 miles per hour with a peak velocity of 97 mph. He also throws a two-seam fastball, cutter, and curveball. According to his Baseball Prospectus in-person scouting report, his best pitch is his splitter.


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