MLB Offseason: Yamamoto Signing Will Trigger Free Agency Chaos


After the battle for Ohtani captivated the baseball world, the attention has now shifted to the highly coveted Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. And after he signs, free agency in baseball may get chaotic.

The number of reports regarding the teams that are in on Japanese star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto seems endless. For a recap, the teams that seem very much alive currently are as follows:

  • Boston Red Sox
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • San Francisco Giants

The Latest On Yamamoto

We’ve heard many unconfirmed reports regarding what Yamamoto and his camp value most. At first, all reports suggested he would sign with the highest bidder, which means it would be an actual bidding war. Then we heard reports that he wanted to follow great Japanese pitchers like Masahiro Tanaka and Daisuke Matsuzaka, who etched their names into the heated Red Sox/ Yankee rivalry. We’ve also heard that fellow Team Japan star Ohtani is working hard on recruiting Yamamoto to join him in Los Angeles. If it is a bidding war, you can’t count out the deep pockets of Mets owner Steven Cohen. The latest reports suggest that Yamamoto is narrowing his list down to finalists he will visit for a second time.

Micahel Lipsinki of The Sports Daily has also been following the updates of Yamamoto meetings as well.

The Starting Pitcher Market After Yamamoto

We’re still pretty much in the dark about who has the best chance to sign Yamamoto. We only know that after he signs, it will be massive breaking news, and then the free agency market will go into chaos.  Especially for starting pitchers. Not only are GMs and agents waiting to see where Yamamoto ends up, but players are also interested in seeing where he goes, as it will 100% impact their list of suitors. So who are the best starting pitchers on the market who are waiting to see where Yamamoto lands?

  1. Blake Snell- SP (L)
  2. Clayton Kershaw- SP (L)
  3. Jordan Montgomery- SP (L)
  4. Marcus Stroman- SP
  5. Shota Imanaga- SP (L)
  6. Brandon Woodruff- SP
  7. Lucas Giolito- SP

By all accounts, I would guess that Snell and Montgomery go first followed pretty quickly by fellow Japanese pitcher Shota Imanaga.

What Happens With The Clubs That Miss Out On Yamamoto?

It seems that everyone in on Yamamoto would also be front runners to land one or more pitchers on this list if they do not land the big prize. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Mets have been linked to multiple pitchers on this list. The Phillies would be, too, had they not already locked up Aaron Nola well before the Yamomoto sweepstakes began. There are also some wild card teams that are not in on Yamamoto but may be waiting for the dust to settle so they can sign one of these formidable starters. But as soon as Yamamoto ink hits paper, you can be confident these names will start flying off the list of available free agents.

It’s not just the starting pitching market that will explode, it’s all of free agency. Here is my list of the top available free agents, including Yamamoto.

18. Brandon Woodruff- SP
17. Gary Sanchez- C
16. Rhys Hoskins- 1B
15. Jorge Soler- OF
14. Tim Anderson- SS/2B
13. Justin Turner- 1B/3B
12. Shota Imanaga- SP (L)
11. Mitch Garver- C
10. Teoscar Hernandez- OF
9. Whit Merrifield- 2B/OF
8. Marcus Stroman- SP
7. Josh Hader- RP (L)
6. Clayton Kershaw- SP (L)
5. Jordan Montgomery- SP (L)
4. Cody Bellinger- OF
3. Matt Chapman- 3B
2. Blake Snell- SP (L)
1. Yoshinobu Yamamoto- SP

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