SIGNED: Yamamoto Chooses Team, Gets Richest Pitching Contract Ever


The Yoshinobu Yamamoto Sweepstakes is over. After being wined and dined by the biggest franchises in baseball, the Japanese superstar has made his decision, signing the richest pitching contract in the history of the sport, to join Shohei Ohtani with the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

The deal is said to be for 12 years, and $325M. That makes over one BILLION dollars committed this offseason for L.A. on Yamamoto and Ohtani.

It works out to an average of $27.08M per season, and unlike Ohtani's deal, there are no deferred payments. It includes a $50M signing bonus, and of course there's also the $50M posting fee the Dodgers must pay to the Orix Buffaloes of the NPB.

The New York Yankees and New York Mets were the other finalists, after the hurler eliminated the San Francisco Giants from the competition earlier last evening. 

Over seven seasons in Japan, Yamamoto compiled a stunning 1.82 ERA, earned 3 Cy Young equivalent awards, and 3 MVP awards. In 2023, he went to another level, with a Bob Gibson-esque 1.21 ERA, an 0.88 WHIP and a 169:28 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 164 innings. 

He'll join a Dodgers rotation that badly needs him, as they'll be without the pitching services of Ohtani for 2024 as he recovers from elbow surgery, Tony Gonsolin is out for possibly the entire year after Tommy John surgery, Dustin May is out likely till midseason, and Walker Buehler is just coming back from Tommy John surgery himself. Julio Urias is gone, and there's still no word on Clayton Kershaw's plans for his future. 

Photo: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports