Reports: Prized Pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto Agrees With Dodgers On $325 Million Deal
Dec 22, 2023, 9:42 AM
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prized free-agent pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a $325 million, 12-year contract, according to multiple reports.
Yamamoto is set to join Japanese countryman Shohei Ohtani with the Dodgers, who signed the two-way superstar to a record $700 million, 10-year deal last week.
The Dodgers did not confirm the agreement with Yamamoto on Thursday night. MLB.com and ESPN were among the outlets citing anonymous sources in reporting the deal.
Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in agreement on an 12-year, $325 million contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 22, 2023
The New York Yankees and New York Mets were among the many clubs that pursued Yamamoto.
It’s the third major pitching coup for the NL West champion Dodgers this offseason. In addition to Ohtani, the team signed right-hander Tyler Glasnow to a $136.5 million, five-year contract after he was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to Los Angeles.
Ohtani made a video pitch to Glasnow to join him in Hollywood.
“It was important to Shohei that this wasn’t the one move we were going to make,” Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman said at Ohtani’s introductory news conference last week.
Japan ➡️ L.A. pic.twitter.com/zwHBKGMYZL
— MLB (@MLB) December 22, 2023
Yamamoto was 16-6 with a 1.21 ERA this season, striking out 169 and walking 28 in 164 innings. He is 70-29 with a 1.82 ERA in seven seasons with the Orix Buffaloes. Yamamoto struck out a Japan Series-record 14 in a Game 6 win over Hanshin on Nov. 5, throwing a 138-pitch complete game. Orix went on to lose Game 7.
Yamamoto’s deal with the Dodgers would be the largest and longest ever guaranteed to a big league pitcher.
Ohtani was a two-time AL MVP with the Los Angeles Angels before becoming a free agent this offseason and moving to the Dodgers.
"I was told by a source who knows the Japanese baseball scene very well… Yamamoto simply wanted to be a Dodger and play with Ohtani."@jonmorosi breaks down the Dodgers reported 12-year deal with the Japanese phenom and how the club will look to continue to add this offseason. pic.twitter.com/Ro1wEsCPmW
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 22, 2023
Yamamoto pitched his second career no-hitter, the 100th in Japanese big league history, on Sept. 9 for the Buffaloes against the Lotte Marines. The game, watched by MLB executives, extended his scoreless streak to 42 innings.
A two-time Pacific League MVP, Yamamoto also threw a no-hitter against the Seibu Lions on June 18 last year. His fastball averaged 95 mph and topped out at 96.6 mph in Japan’s semifinal win over Mexico at the World Baseball Classic in March. He threw 20 fastballs, 19 splitters, six curveballs, six cutters and one slider in a 3 1/3-inning relief outing. Batters swung at 11 of his splitters and missed four.
Following hard-throwing 21-year-old sensation Roki Sasaki, Yamamoto gave up two runs and three hits in 3 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks, allowing Alex Verdugo’s RBI double. Yamamoto was charged with a second run when Isaac Paredes hit an RBI single off Atsuki Yuasa.
Under the MLB-NPB agreement, the posting fee will be 20% of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. The percentage drops to 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any amount over $50 million. There would be a supplemental fee of 15% of any earned bonuses, salary escalators and exercised options.