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Yoshinobu Yamamoto has reportedly signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers

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Photo credit:Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
3 months ago
The Dodgers have now decided to form a super team.
On Thursday night, Jeff Passan broke the news that the Dodgers have signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a 12-year, $325 million contract, as well as giving $50.5 million to the Orix Buffaloes for the posting fee.
Is the 25-year-old righty worth it? Possibly? In NPB, Yamamoto had a 1.21 ERA in 164 innings pitched with Orix, along with a 26.6 K% and a 4.4 BB%. For his career in NPB, he has a 1.82 ERA in 897 innings pitched, along with a 26.4 K% and a 5.9 BB%. He’s won the last three Eiji Sawamura Award, NPB’s top starting pitcher award.
As you may recall, the Dodgers signed fellow Japanese star Shohei Ohtani to the largest deal in sport’s history worth 10 years, $700 million with a whole bunch of deferrals. It was said that Yamamoto wanted to play with a fellow Japanese star, and the Dodgers even structured Ohtani’s deal to land another big free agent.
Whether the success translates from NPB to MLB is a whole different matter entirely. In terms of pure skill alone, Yamamoto has the stuff to already be a front-of-the-rotation starter, as he has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s. His splitter is his best pitch, using it as the put-away pitch against batters, even generating seven strikeouts in the World Baseball Classic with it.
The Jays were definitely interested in Yamamoto, as general manager Ross Atkins even went to Japan to watch him play, but the team doesn’t really need a starter. Would it have been nice to add a potential ace to an already fantastic rotation? Sure. However, they still have a hole in the outfield, third base, and need a designated hitter.
With that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jays look to add some depth starters to push for the fifth spot in the rotation. The Jays were fortunate with health last season, but there’s no telling if it’ll be the case in 2024 as well. I doubt it’ll be Snell, or any other top starter remaining, but a pitcher like Shōta Imanaga could be an option.
Hopefully Yamamoto’s signing will kick start this free agency that has been moving incredibly slow.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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