We live in a deeply divided nation, but the one thing all humans (and even subhumans like Red Sox fans) seem to agree on is that Yoshinobu Yamamoto would make a pretty excellent recipient of a long-term free agent contract.
Yamamoto is currently in the midst of cutting through the red tape in the posting process, but should be officially available soon. The Yankees are in, despite Brian Cashman's best efforts to make the righty's agent feel unwelcome in his office. The Dodgers are purportedly interested, with several rotation spots open. Kodai Senga has done yeoman's work in recruiting Yamamoto to the Mets, and Steve Cohen's checkbook could do the rest. The Red Sox are certainly involved, with SNY's Andy Martino noting that new leader Craig Breslow received high marks from fellow Japanese star Seiya Suzuki in Chicago.
Any word yet on which way the winds are blowing? Nothing definitive, considering every nugget seems to blow things in opposite directions.
According to Yamamoto's camp, Cashman's comments on Giancarlo Stanton (and Yamamoto's agent Joel Wolfe's response) didn't cease conversations at all (though any agent would be foolish to eliminate the interested Yankees this early in the process. Martino relayed that the righty is "intrigued by the prestige and iconography of the Yankees," perhaps in part because of mole on the inside Frank Schwindel.
If, after all this, the Yankees logo clinches Yamamoto's free agency decision, that'd be fairly delicious. Nobody tell him we have a Starr Insurance patch on the sleeve now.
Yankees 'intrigue' Yoshinobu Yamamoto with their prestige, but so does the west coast.
Okay, great. So ... done deal, right? Cashman can fly back to Japan and show off that famous iconography, thus closing the deal?
Not so fast. The Red Sox are, all of a sudden, serious threats under Breslow and Andrew Bailey. They need two, maybe three, rotation arms, and will get them, one way or another. The Mets seem like they should be the perceived favorite, even though Martino -- who's been all over this beat from the beginning -- mentioned recently that the Yankees have an easier road to the finish line than Cohen does.
And maybe, just maybe, the money on the east coast will have to climb to an uncomfortable place to offset Yamamoto's preference for the west coast, which Jon Heyman noted in a Wednesday livestream.
Is that Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers' music?
From what I've heard recently, the Giants are less likely to sign Yamamoto than previously perceived to be, but the early interest Jon Morosi noted from the Dodgers feels like a valid rope to chase. Even the Mariners, who've been aggressive in recent years and missed the postseason in 2023, have all the reason in the world to overextend themselves for Yamamoto.
No matter where the righty lands, the price tag is escalating by the day as his posting process drags. And, if the Dodgers change their iconography to an interlocking NY with pinstripes, this might be over by Thanksgiving.