Shohei Ohtani is the clear No. 1 free agent obtainable this Main League Baseball offseason, so it’ll be fascinating to see whether or not the Boston Purple Sox severely pursue the two-way famous person.
However one other Japanese phenom deserves important consideration, as properly. Yoshinobu Yamamoto simply is likely to be the second-best participant on the open market. And he’d assist fill Boston’s most obvious gap: Beginning pitching.
DraftKings Sportsbook final week launched next-team odds for a number of notable free brokers, together with Yamamoto. As of Monday afternoon, the Purple Sox had the second-shortest odds to signal the gifted right-hander, at +400. The New York Mets have been the favorites on the betting board, at +220.
Right here’s the total record of Yamamoto next-team odds at DraftKings Sportsbook:
New York Mets +220
Boston Purple Sox +400
Los Angeles Dodgers +450
New York Yankees +550
Chicago Cubs +600
San Francisco Giants +900
Area (Any Different Crew) +1000
St. Louis Cardinals +1100
Philadelphia Phillies +1200
Texas Rangers +1500
Seattle Mariners +1500
Houston Astros +1800
After all, it’ll price a fairly penny to signal Yamamoto, who’s making the leap to MLB after seven dominant seasons in Nippon Skilled Baseball. Not solely is he thought of a possible ace. He’s additionally simply 25 years previous, a lot youthful than the big-name alternate options obtainable in free company.
MLB Commerce Rumors just lately predicted a nine-year, $225 million contract for Yamamoto after he’s posted by the Orix Buffaloes. ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel projected a seven-year, $212 million deal. FanGraphs’ Ben Clemens estimated seven years and $196 million.
Clearly, this represents a considerable funding, even for franchises with deep pockets. And there’s some inherent threat concerned as a consequence of Yamamoto’s lack of MLB expertise. However the upside positive is tantalizing, particularly for a staff, just like the Purple Sox, whose rotation struggled in 2023.
Purple Sox starters ranked twenty seventh in innings pitched (774 1/3), twenty second in ERA (4.68) and twentieth in FIP (4.51) final season. Yamamoto received the Eiji Sawamura Award — given yearly to the highest pitcher in NPB — every of the final three years.