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The club owner moved to recruit ‘Ace’.
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen met Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25) in Japan on the 7th. Japanese media reported, citing American media, that he accompanied a high-ranking official from the club and had a meal with Yamamoto's family.
A club official said, "It was a very good meeting. We explained our club and what plans we had. We provided information to the player and his family so they could make the right decision."
He continued, "Yamamoto is a pitcher with the potential to be the first starter. He has proven that ability so far. Many teams are paying attention to him."
The ‘Super Ace’ coveted by all major league clubs. After 7 years with the Orix Buffaloes, he is pursuing a move to the United States through posting. There are signs of a battle between major clubs.
The rivalry began even before the offseason.
Last September, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman flew to Japan to check on Yamamoto. I watched the away game against Chiba Lotte Marines on September 9th, in which Yamamoto started. I watched before my eyes as Yamamoto achieved his second no-hit, no-run following last year. At the stadium that day, there were scouts from not only the New York Yankees but also 12 to 13 major league teams.
As competition intensifies, prices rise. There was talk of $200 million over 7 years, but then it went to $220 million and then $250 million. Recently, there is even a forecast of a total of $300 million. The lack of quality starting pitchers further reduces Yamamoto's value.
I raised it. There is a great thirst for the No. 1 starting pitcher.
A team that could embrace Yamamoto was selected. It was narrowed down to seven teams, including New York's two teams, the Mets and Yankees, the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Yamamoto plans to move to the United States soon to engage in final negotiations.
In 23 games this season, he has 16 wins and 6 losses, an ERA of 1.21, 169 strikeouts, and a winning percentage of .727. He won four crowns for three consecutive years in terms of multiple wins, earned run average, strikeouts, and winning percentage. He also won the Pacific League MVP, Sawamura Award, and Golden Glove for three consecutive years, and was ranked in the Best 9 for three consecutive years.
During the past three seasons in which Yamamoto played a big role, his team Orix won the league three times in a row.
If he goes to the New York Mets, a Japanese 'one-two punch' will be created with Senga Kodai (30). The two aces who dominated the Pacific League until last year are teaming up on one team.
Senga signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Softbank Hawks. In his debut season, he started 29 games and went 12-7, with an ERA of 2.98 and 202 strikeouts. He had the most wins on the team, ranked second in the National League in earned run average and eighth in strikeouts.
Sunday, December 10, 2023