Mets owner hosts Yamamoto for dinner in recruitment pitch

Mets owner hosts Yamamoto for dinner in recruitment pitch

NEW YORK – New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hosted Yoshinobu Yamamoto for dinner at his home as part of the team’s aggressive pursuit of the star Japanese pitcher, U.S. media reported Sunday.

The big-spending Mets, who already have Japanese starter Kodai Senga on their roster, are one of several Major League Baseball clubs believed to be chasing Yamamoto via the posting system.

 

The dinner took place Saturday night at Cohen’s house in Connecticut near New York, according to the New York Post and other outlets.

 

Cohen previously visited Japan with team executives to meet with the 25-year-old former Orix Buffaloes ace, who could command a contract of around $300 million this offseason.

 

Yamamoto is one of the biggest offseason targets for MLB teams due to his age and achievements in Japan, having been both Pacific League MVP and winner of the Sawamura Award — for Japanese baseball’s top pitcher — the past three seasons.

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers are believed to be among the other contenders, with their new star signing Shohei Ohtani reportedly present for their pitch to Yamamoto.

 

The New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays are also in the hunt, the Post reported.

MLB teams have a Jan. 4 deadline to sign Yamamoto under the posting system.

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