Yoshinobu Yamamoto Rumors: Philadelphia Phillies Present a Contract Offer, Per Report

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The Philadelphia Phillies are officially star hunting (once again). The Phillies have made a contract offer to international free agent pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, reports The Athletic’s Matt Gelb.

The Phillies are believed to be the first team to officially offer baseball’s other international superstar a contract. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, the Phillies have been aggressive in their pursuit of Yamamoto and have made the 25-year-old righty a priority during the early portion of free agency. The Phillies reportedly had superstar Bryce Harper FaceTime with Yamamoto on at least one occasion as part of their pitch to the five-time NPB All-Star pitcher. Despite the Phillies efforts, they’re still viewed as a long shot to secure Yamamoto’s services.

The belief among baseball insider’s is Yamamoto’s has a desire to play for a “big market” club that has potential to win sooner rather than later. The Phillies, a club that went to back-to-back National League Championship Series and is two seasons removed from a World Series appearance, certainly fits the bill. However, the Phillies are short on additional Asian players, an alleged “want” on Yamamoto’s wish list.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees have long been viewed as the co-favorites in the clubhouse for these reasons. While neither team has officially made an offer, the Dodgers are expected to offer a contract in the range of $250-300MM in total value, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Jack Harris. The New York Mets, often viewed as the third team in the Yamamoto sweepstakes, are kicking the tires on an offer, according to SNY’s Andy Martino. The Mets and Yankees hosted meetings with Yamamoto over the weekend in Connecticut and New York City, respectively.

The timing of the Phillies reported offer is certainly interesting. Yamamoto has until January 4, 2024 to sign with a Major League Baseball club or he will be forced to return to the Pacific League’s Orix Buffaloes. The latest reporting on the Yamamoto saga pinpointed a potential signing between Christmas and potentially right up to the 1/4 deadline.

It’s possible that “Yamamoto Watch” will officially reach DEFCON 1 with the Phillies offer coming in and  offers from other teams being rumored.


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