] Interest in Orix Buffaloes Yoshinobu Yamamoto, 25, who has declared for the major leagues, is heating up.
MLB.com, the official site of Major League Baseball, reported on Aug. 18 (KST), “The number of teams that want Yamamoto seems to be growing by the day. We know the Yankees, Boston, Mets and Dodgers are (among the front-runners). Texas, Seattle, Cubs, San Francisco, and St. Louis have also been mentioned. Now we can add Philadelphia, Arizona, and Detroit.” The 12 teams mentioned by MLB.com are nearly half of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball.굿모닝토토
With a career record of 70-29 with a 1.82 ERA and 922 strikeouts in 172 games (897 innings) in Nippon Professional Baseball, Yamamoto is considered one of Japan’s top aces. This season, he went 16-6 with a 1.21 ERA and 169 strikeouts in 23 games (164 innings), winning four titles (wins, ERA, strikeouts, and winning percentage) for the third consecutive year, an unprecedented feat in Nippon Professional Baseball history.
The Orix, who finished runners-up in the Japan Series, announced shortly after the conclusion of the Japan Series that Yamamoto had expressed his desire to play in the Major Leagues in a post, and the organization had agreed to honor the offer. Yamamoto will begin the official posting process on April 21.
Yamamoto, one of the biggest names in pitching this free agency, has been attracting interest from a growing number of major league clubs. “The Phillies are ‘strongly considering’ Yamamoto, according to Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Alex Coffey,” MLB.com reported.
A National League club scout said, “The Phillies have been watching Yamamoto closely. Most major league clubs have sent scouts to see him. But I would say the Phillies have to be considered one of the five or six favorites.”
Similarly, The Athletic’s Jason Stark predicted that Yamamoto would be a top target if the Phillies were unsuccessful in re-signing Aaron Nola. Jordan Montgomery and Sonny Gray could also be candidates.
Meanwhile, New York Post reporter John Heyman said that Arizona and Detroit are also interested. If Arizona were to land Yamamoto, it would be the largest contract in franchise history, surpassing the six-year, $266.5 million deal signed by Zack Greinke in 2016. “But a starting rotation of Yamamoto, Zach Gallon, Merrill Kelly and Brandon Potts would be a formidable starting quartet for the defending National League champions,” MLB.com analyzed.
Detroit is also a free agent, as left-handed ace Eduardo Rodriguez opted out of the remaining three years of his contract. Yamamoto could be the pitcher to fill Rodriguez’s void.