Yamamoto has officially been posted, and Major League clubs have been notified, a source tells MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
Starting at 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday, clubs were able to begin negotiating with the 25-year-old Japanese ace for a window of 45 days; the negotiating period ends at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 4, 2024. So, we should soon find out where Yamamoto will begin his Major League career.
We know that Shohei Ohtani is the No. 1 free agent this offseason, but Yamamoto might be this year’s most important free agent. That’s because many players, including Ohtani, may see what kind of contract the right-hander lands before inking their own lucrative deals.
Yamamoto is expected to sign this year’s richest contract for a starting pitcher, perhaps one well north of $200 million. As such, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Sonny Gray and other top starting pitchers in free agency could wait for Yamamoto to set this winter’s pitching market, Feinsand writes.
It could also be wise for Ohtani to wait and see what happens with Yamamoto, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (subscription required).
“Losing out on the 25-year-old Yamamoto … might put certain teams on tilt, improving the landscape for Ohtani,” Rosenthal writes.
A ton of teams have been linked to Yamamoto in the rumor mill recently, including the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Phillies, Mariners, Rangers, Giants, Cardinals, D-backs and Tigers.
Nov. 19: Phillies ‘still in’ on Yamamoto (report)
With “No. 1 priority” Aaron Nola agreeing to a seven-year contract Sunday, the Phillies are moving forward with plans to bolster their staff — plans that could still include Yamamoto, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. He reported that Bryce Harper was even involved in making a pitch to Yamamoto’s camp, which included a sizzle reel.
Nov. 18: Yankees ‘extremely interested’ in Yamamoto (report)
Monday will likely be a big day for Yamamoto. That’s when he is expected to be posted, per ESPN’s Buster Olney. That means teams can begin negotiating with him Tuesday.
Yamamoto does not lack suitors. Double-digit teams have reportedly been linked to the 25-year-old Japanese ace in recent days and weeks. That includes the Yankees, who are in “hot pursuit” of Yamamoto, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman writes in the New York Post. He adds that the Yanks are “extremely interested” in Yamamoto, who might end up being their top target of the offseason considering that they are reportedly not as optimistic that Shohei Ohtani will consider playing in New York.