From the man who brought you the Justin Verlander Mets signing, as well as the Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani Blue Jays signings (three things that absolutely happened), it's Yoshinobu Yamamoto to the Yankees! Kinda! We think?
Yes, former Cleveland MLB All-Star Carlos Baerga is back and he's trying to break news to his Instagram followers before it hits the mainstream. Unfortunately, this time he didn't even make it declarative.
According to Baerga's latest (caps are all his, baby), "It is Rumored in NY that The Yankees have just Offered Yoshinobu Yamamoto 9 years x 304 Million we will see if he signs the contract."
Baerga posted on both Instagram and Twitter what appeared to be his latest attempt to beat the big journos. Unfortunately, it seems fairly clear where he got his information from, in this instance.
Former MLB Player Carlos Baerga starts Yankees Yoshinobu Yamamoto rumors
So, in this instance, Baerga is trying to break an offer, not a signing. It also just so happens to be the same numbers floated by The Athletic's Jim Bowden in his free agent contract projections, published two days before Baerga's post. Nine years, $304 million, with the Yankees predicted to be Bowden's Yamamoto landing spot. It's all right there.
The Yankees certainly could land the 25-year-old Japanese right-hander, despite a late push from the Dodgers and significant deferrals in Shohei Ohtani's contract that allow LA to go comparatively crazy in the weeks to come. New York reportedly felt optimistic coming out of their meeting Monday, the (likely) culmination of a year-plus courtship that sent Brian Cashman to Japan -- just in time for Yamamoto to throw a no-hitter.
That was, of course, before the deferrals in Ohtani's contract dropped and before the Dodgers threw a star-studded meeting at Yamamoto's feet. At this point, it feels like it'll take more than nine years and $304 million to land him, a number so specific that Baerga can't possibly have come up with it without a little inspiration. Either Bowden's an excellent predictor, or something's a little fishy here.
The Yankees likely aren't out of the ever-expanding race (now the Phillies are involved?) by any means, but the final word likely won't come from Baerga's Instagram, which seems borrowed anyway. Here's hoping it's not also something blue.