The enthusiasm for the recruitment of Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto has heated up, with the possibility of a $300 million contract being discussed. With multiple teams in the U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) showing interest, New York Mets owner Stephen Cohen, known as the “billionaire,” is said to have invited Yamamoto to his home.월카지노
The New York Post and other U.S. local media reported on the 18th (Korea Standard Time) that “Cohen Mets owner called Yamamoto to his house for dinner on Saturday afternoon.” David Stearns, president of the baseball operation division, Carlos Mendoza, and Jeremy Hefner were also reported to have attended the meeting. It is natural for FA players and the club to communicate, but it is not common for players to visit the owner’s house in person.
The Mets have already been busy trying to recruit Yamamoto. Even before Yamamoto came to the U.S., the owner of Cohen visited Japan himself, showing strong willingness to recruit Yamamoto.
However, this does not mean that the Yamamoto recruitment campaign is over. This is because there are still teams showing interest in Yamamoto, such as the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In particular, Dodgers’ recent moves to embrace superstar Shohei Ohtani are noteworthy. According to U.S. media, Dodgers recently held a meeting with Yamamoto at Dodger Stadium. Not only Ohtani but also key players in its team, including Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, attended the meeting.
The Dodgers have already reached a 10-year contract agreement with Ohtani for a total of $700 million (912.8 billion won), but they do not have to pay much right away. This is because Ohtani has offered the club “unprecedented deferral of annual salary,” which receives a significant amount of his annual salary after the contract period. Ohtani will receive $2 million (about 2.6 billion won) in annual salary for 10 years and the remaining $680 million (about 8867 billion won) will be “interest-free” between 2034 and 2043.
Thanks to Ohtani’s consideration, the Dodgers was able to continue its aggressive investment, and signed a five-year, 136.5 million-dollar extension contract with Tyler Glasnow, a pitcher who was acquired in a 2:2 trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. On top of that, considering the Dodgers’ willingness to win the title, it is predicted that Yamamoto will be able to hold onto it.
Not only the Yankees and Dodgers, but also the San Francisco Giants, which recruited Lee Jung-hoo, and the Boston Red Sox, which need reinforcement, are seeking to recruit Yamamoto. The U.S. sports media “The Athletic” reported on the 17th that San Francisco and Boston offered more than 300 million dollars (391.2 billion won) to Yamamoto as a condition to recruit him.
The highest posting system (closed competitive bidding) ever was Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (current Rakuten Golden Eagles), who signed with the New York Yankees in January 2014, worth 155 million dollars for seven years, and Yamamoto is expected to easily surpass this amount under the current atmosphere.
Yamamoto has not played a single game in the big league yet, but he stood out early and was caught on the radar of scouts. After debuting as a member of the Orix Buffaloes in the Japanese professional baseball (NPB) in 2017, he recorded 30 holds the following year, and showed his potential as a starting pitcher from 2019.
Yamamoto, in particular, showed off his powerful performance with 18 wins, 5 losses and a 1.39 ERA in 26 games in 2021. Last year and this year, he pitched well with 15 wins and 5 losses and a 1.68 ERA in 26 games, respectively, and 16 wins and 6 losses in 23 games and a 1.21 ERA. This gave him the pleasure of winning the “Sawamura Award,” which is given to the best pitcher in Japanese professional baseball from 2021 to this year, for the third consecutive year.
Yamamoto also played in major international competitions such as the 2019 Premier 12, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (hosted in 2021) and the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). He contributed to Japan’s victory at this year’s WBC by recording one win and an ERA of 2.45 in seven ⅓ innings in two games (one start).
Since the end of the Major League postseason, Yamamoto’s name has been mentioned day after day. The official Major League website MLB.com introduced the top 25 players in the offseason FA rankings early last month, and rated Yamamoto as No. 2, while the U.S. sports media ESPN predicted that Yamamoto will sign a seven-year contract worth a total of 212 million U.S. dollars after Yamamoto’s bid to advance to the Major League became official.
With players on the market visiting their destinations one by one, some predict that Yamamoto could also sign a contract within this week. It remains to be seen what choice he will make.