Yoshinobu Yamamoto's latest contract rumors would be extremely rich for Yankees

(and they should still, uh, do it if they get the chance)
Japan v Mexico - Game 2
Japan v Mexico - Game 2 / Kiyoshi Ota/GettyImages

The Yankees would love to sign 25-year-old Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but now that Monday's meeting has come and gone, the ball is certifiably not in their court.

The Dodgers will have their day, and have bolstered their argument with both Shohei Ohtani and his tempting deferred salary chunks. The Red Sox, desperate to pair Masataka Yoshida with his ex-teammate, will get a chance to flash their wares. The Blue Jays, fresh off missing both Ohtani and Juan Soto, will also receive a meeting. Steve Cohen, who is insane, will presumably barge through the doors and interrupt someone else's meeting, too. The Yankees have made their pitch. Now, it comes down to pure player preference.

Oh, and the money. The money, already crazy, appears to be getting crazier -- but, of course, that's to be expected when Los Angeles clears the deck and the hedge fund Mets fly halfway across the world to show their dedication.

If the Yankees get the "yes" head nod from Yamamoto at the end of the week, they might just have to lap the field financially in order to assure they come out on top and stop him from pivoting. According to Eno Sarris of The Athletic, there's at least a chance the righty's money zooms from previous estimates of $300 million to now $400 million, with his posting fee included. That's a ton for a technically unproven commodity in MLB competition. It's also the going rate for a possible ace. Pay up.

Yankees still projected to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto despite massive contract ask?

Yamamoto, having already met with the Yankees' contingent, Giants' brass, and Mets Japan-bound core, will meet with the Red Sox, Dodgers, Blue Jays, and one or two other teams by end of week. At that point, hopeful Yankee fans would like to believe that Hideki Matsui, with whom the pitcher shares an agent, can do enough recruiting to give the Yankees the chance to match the highest offer (which, more than likely, will come from the Mets or Dodgers).

Former MLB GM Jim Bowden is still bullish on the Yankees' chances, for what it's worth, projecting on Tuesday that Yamamoto will be theirs at a cool cost of $304 million. Unfortunately, it seems likely Bowden submitted those predictions before the Dodgers' Ohtani deferrals were announced, tossing a Randy Johnson-sized wrench in this entire process. While the structure of his contract may someday help the Yankees secure Juan Soto, it certainly hurts them right now. All that's left is to hope Hal Steinbrenner is ready to take a crazy financial plunge, while Andrew Friedman realizes that Ohtani is best served with his saved money going to two or three pitchers for a barren rotation rather than just one.