Ken Rosenthal: 5 Teams “Going Crazy” For Yamamoto

Aside from Shohei Ohtani, it's clear that the free agent garnering the most interest this winter is his countrymate, a pitcher that MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal says teams are "going crazy" over.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is a 3-time Japanese league MVP, and has won their equivalent of the Cy Young award three times as well. He holds a career —yes, career— 1.82 ERA in seven seasons, and he's only 25 years old. As a free agent pitcher, it doesn't get much better than that. 

This guy is the Belle of the Ball (outside of Ohtani)... He is a little short in stature, but teams don't seem to be fazed by it, they are going crazy for him. The initial expectation (on a free agent contract) was $200 Million, but it sounds now like it might be a lot higher, then you add the posting fee on top of that.

Rosenthal then goes on to name five notable teams at the top of the bidding, amongst many others:

  • San Francisco Giants
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees
  • Boston Red Sox
All big markets with big money to spend. And all need to beef up their rotations. According to some, the Giants could be the frontrunners right now. Insider Jon Morosi says the Giants have been gaining "a lot of momentum", while Giants beat writer Susan Slusser says she's heard "an awful lot of buzz on the Giants and Yoshinobu Yamamoto."

Fellow insider Bob Nightengale, however, has reported that the Bronx Bombers have Yamamoto as their "No. 1 priority," while Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe wrote that Boston is "among the teams expected to be finalists" for the Japanese righty. 

The Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays have also been mentioned, by Jeff Passan, as still being in the running. 

A lot of noise around the young pitching star, and it's easy to see why he's been labeled "Belle of the Ball" by Rosenthal. 

Photo: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports