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San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox reportedly made staggering contract offers to Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Japanese starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto immediately became the best player available in MLB free agency once the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Shohei Ohtani. With an intense bidding war now unfolding for Yamamoto, it appears the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox have made two of the strongest offers.

Yamamoto, who turned 25 years old in August, is one of the most decorated baseball players internationally. The right-handed pitcher is a three-time Pacific League MVP, three-time Triple Crown winner, five-time All-Star and has thrown a no-hitter in each of the last two seasons.

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With a stellar 70-29 career record, MLB teams began flocking to Japan this year once word surfaced that the Orix Buffaloes would post Yamamoto for bidding. The decorated hurler is the best pitcher to come from Japan since Ohtani, resulting in the fierce bidding war that could eventually make him one of the highest-paid players in baseball next season.

According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, the Red Sox and Giants have each made a “strong, recent push” to sign Yamamoto this week. The efforts to sign Yamamoto include lucrative contract offers worth more than $300 million total.

  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto career stats: 986 strikeouts, 0.91 WHIP, 6.2 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 4.56 SO/BB, 1.72 ERA in 967.2 innings pitched

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The offers align with previous reporting by MLB insider Jon Heyman, who noted that Yamamoto is “likely” to land the longest contract ever for a pitcher. Importantly, the $300 million offers for Yamamoto don’t include the estimated $50 million posting fee that the signing team will owe the Orix Buffaloes.

The $300-plus million contract offers could make things a little more difficult for the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. All three teams were believed to be in the mix to sign Yamamoto, but the existence of $300 million offers might at least push the Mets, Yankees and Dodgers to consider alternatives.

Once Yamamoto signs with an MLB team, the free-agent market for reigning Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and the trade market for Dylan Cease and Corbin Burnes are expected to ramp up.

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