Dodgers’ new star Yamamoto regret not joining LA regardless of Shohei Ohtani

The right-handed pitcher was introduced on Wednesday The Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled their latest high-priced free agent acquisition, a player the franchise offered a $325 million contract despite never having success in the MLB. “I am very excited to join this historic franchise.”

   Yoshinobu Yamamoto introduces himself to Dodgers fans in an English voiceover Yoshinobu Yamamoto met with the Los Angeles media for the first time on Wednesday, just hours after the Dodgers confirmed he had signed a 12-year contract with the organization.

   He joins teammate Shohei Ohtani at Dodger Stadium, where both players hope to win multiple World Series championships while signed to decade-long contracts. But while Yamamoto is happy to have Ohtani back as a long-time teammate, the star pitcher said Wednesday that the two-time MVP’s decision to join the Dodgers wasn’t important to him — or the Dodgers. 

   bitter rivals the San Francisco Giants were strong contenders to sign him during the hectic free agency. Yamamoto had always wanted Los Angeles Yamamoto explained through an interpreter that he “probably  would have signed with the Dodgers anyway after the Orix Buffaloes sent him to MLB teams — even if Ohtani approached the Giants, Toronto Blue Jays or any other team interested in signing him.

   Yoshinobu Yamamoto says he could have and probably still ended up with the Los Angeles Dodger even if Shohei Ohtani doesn’t sign with them However, it cannot be denied that the selection of Ohtania in Dodger blue helped retain Yamamoto, who was courted by the Giants as well as the New York Mets and New York Yankees. Even if Ohtani can’t hit in 2024 due to an elbow injury, he can still rake in the Dodgers’ record designated hitter — and Yamamoto hopes the expected contributions at the plate will remain on the mound.

    What makes Yamamoto special? While he doesn’t have the build of a prototypical pitcher, Yamamoto can touch 100 miles per hour with his fastball and can make weak contact with dipping fingers. Yamamoto also throws a big spinning curveball to keep hitters even more off balance. Using those three pitches, Yamamoto posted a 1.82 ERA over seven seasons in Japan and struck out at least 200 batters in two seasons.

   The 25-year-old has helped the Orix reach the Japan Series — the national equivalent of the World Series — in each of the last three seasons, with the Buffaloes winning the series in 2022.

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