Not our Star Blazer: Yamamoto signs with the Dodgers for $325 million, 12 years

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Rovin Romine

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“I cannot tell you if he did visit or didn’t visit Fenway but I think he knows a lot about Fenway,” Cora said (22:45 in player above). “He has friends he’s probably been asking, and we’re not talking about our left fielder. We’re not talking about that.”
The Red Sox left fielder, of course, is Yamamoto’s fellow countryman and former teammate on the Orix Buffaloes, Masataka Yoshida, who signed in Boston last offseason. But there are other former major leaguers that Yamamoto has crossed paths with in the Japan Pacific League of the NPB.
“We got guys that played with him this year that had the experience of playing in New York, the experience of playing in Boston, the experience of playing in Houston,” Cora continued. “He played with people that are ex-MLB players and they have the insight of a lot of stuff. It’s important but it’s not that important.”
We're pinning our hopes on the persuasiveness of. . .Marwin Gonzalez. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marwin_González
 

BaseballJones

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Rafael Devers says hello.

But giving the benefit of the doubt that you meant "free agent from another team"...that means it's been one whole offseason. And that you don't count Yoshida.
It's kind of like when people say that Belichick doesn't pay players, but they conveniently forget that a bunch of times he's paid guys top of the market contracts. Those don't really count, I guess.
 

chrisfont9

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Guess I dreamed that $300M contract to Devers?
Right after you dreamt of them eliminating the Yankees and making the 2021 ALCS.

Snark aside, it would be a lot easier, and less necessary, to relitigate the last five years if the Sox had admitted that they were in a soft rebuild. They more or less admitted it without using the words. They said often enough that they needed the system to become productive again before they could add at the major league level -- and then they tried adding/retaining guys anyway. [And were saved from themselves by the Padres' recklessness.] Anyway, this is a Yamamoto post, maybe we should move this discussion somewhere else.
 

Remagellan

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I'm on record upthread that the deciding factor--assuming the bids are in the same ballpark--will be where this young man wants to spend the rest of his 20s and early 30s, so location over all.

But if I were making the offer for the Sox, I would lean into the Treat Williams/Michael Ovitz pitch to John Michael Higgins/David Letterman from HBO's The Late Show (Night Wars?), which is that if Yamamoto comes here, he would be the Sox signature star, and that has a value beyond measure. He is the opening starter, he's the guy on the yearbook, he's the face of the franchise. Because that is the one thing that the MFYs, the Dodgers, the Phillies, and the Mets cannot offer.

If he goes to the MFYs, he's never passing Judge, and now they have Soto, and that Martian kid coming. They already have the Cy Young winner in house, ask anyone how much of an event any of Cole's starts are there. (They're not.) Because the MFY fans, for all their team's success, have never prized their pitchers over their sluggers, which is why the team has never in their history have had a pitcher as their signature star. Not Waite Hoyt, not Lefty Gomez, not Allie Reynolds, not Whitey Ford, not Ron Guidry, not Andy Pettitte, not Roger Clemens, and not Gerrit Cole. (I'm old enough to remember Guidry in 78, but that was a blip, and he was still behind Thurman and Reggie.) They had the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game, the guy who was arguably more responsible for their last great run than anyone, and even he played second fiddle to a shortstop with the personality of a carp.

Compare that to the Sox, who have a long history of celebrating pitchers going back to Cy Young himself. And if he has any doubts about that, we can remind him that when we had the best player who ever played the game, we prized him for his skill as a left-handed ace pitcher, while when they got a hold of him, he had to bash a bunch of home runs to get any attention there.
 
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P'tucket rhymes with...

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I'm on record upthread that the deciding factor--assuming the bids are in the same ballpark--will be where this young man wants to spend the rest of his 20s and early 30s, so location over all.

But if I were making the offer for the Sox, I would lean into the Treat Williams/Michael Ovitz pitch to John Michael Higgins/David Letterman from HBO's The Late Show (Night Wars?), which is that if Yamamoto comes here, he would be the Sox signature star, and that has a value beyond measure. He is the opening starter, he's the guy on the yearbook, he's the face of the franchise. Because that is the one thing that the MFYs, the Dodgers, the Phillies, and the Mets cannot offer.

If he goes to the MFYs, he's never passing Judge, and now they have Soto, and that Martian kid coming. They already have the Cy Young winner in house, ask anyone how much of an event any of Cole's starts are there. (They're not.) Because the MFY fans, for all their team's success, have never prized their pitchers over their sluggers, which is why the team has never in their history have had a pitcher as their signature star. Not Waite Hoyt, not Lefty Gomez, not Allie Reynolds, not Whitey Ford, not Ron Guidry, not Andy Pettitte, not Roger Clemens, and not Gerrit Cole. (I'm old enough to remember Guidry in 78, but that was a blip, and he was still behind Thurman and Reggie.) They had the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game, the guy who was arguably more responsible for their last great run than anyone, and even he played second fiddle to a shortstop with the personality of a carp.

Compare that to the Sox, who have a long history of celebrating pitchers going back to Cy Young himself. And if he has any doubts about that, we can remind him that when we had the best player who ever played the game, we prized him for his skill as a left-handed ace pitcher, while when they got a hold of him, he had to bash a bunch of home runs to get any attention there.

(I know it's silly and desperate, but that's where we're at right now.)
How eager are we to back up the truck for a guy who's happier to star in New Haven rather than shoot for a lead part on Broadway?
 

SoxinSeattle

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I'm on record upthread that the deciding factor--assuming the bids are in the same ballpark--will be where this young man wants to spend the rest of his 20s and early 30s, so location over all.

But if I were making the offer for the Sox, I would lean into the Treat Williams/Michael Ovitz pitch to John Michael Higgins/David Letterman from HBO's The Late Show (Night Wars?), which is that if Yamamoto comes here, he would be the Sox signature star, and that has a value beyond measure. He is the opening starter, he's the guy on the yearbook, he's the face of the franchise. Because that is the one thing that the MFYs, the Dodgers, the Phillies, and the Mets cannot offer.

If he goes to the MFYs, he's never passing Judge, and now they have Soto, and that Martian kid coming. They already have the Cy Young winner in house, ask anyone how much of an event any of Cole's starts are there. (They're not.) Because the MFY fans, for all their team's success, have never prized their pitchers over their sluggers, which is why the team has never in their history have had a pitcher as their signature star. Not Waite Hoyt, not Lefty Gomez, not Allie Reynolds, not Whitey Ford, not Ron Guidry, not Andy Pettitte, not Roger Clemens, and not Gerrit Cole. (I'm old enough to remember Guidry in 78, but that was a blip, and he was still behind Thurman and Reggie.) They had the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game, the guy who was arguably more responsible for their last great run than anyone, and even he played second fiddle to a shortstop with the personality of a carp.

Compare that to the Sox, who have a long history of celebrating pitchers going back to Cy Young himself. And if he has any doubts about that, we can remind him that when we had the best player who ever played the game, we prized him for his skill as a left-handed ace pitcher, while when they got a hold of him, he had to bash a bunch of home runs to get any attention there.

(I know it's silly and desperate, but that's where we're at right now.)
I know I'm not supposed to clutter the thread like this but thank you for this post. I enjoyed it very much.
 

BringBackMo

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I'm on record upthread that the deciding factor--assuming the bids are in the same ballpark--will be where this young man wants to spend the rest of his 20s and early 30s, so location over all.

But if I were making the offer for the Sox, I would lean into the Treat Williams/Michael Ovitz pitch to John Michael Higgins/David Letterman from HBO's The Late Show (Night Wars?), which is that if Yamamoto comes here, he would be the Sox signature star, and that has a value beyond measure. He is the opening starter, he's the guy on the yearbook, he's the face of the franchise. Because that is the one thing that the MFYs, the Dodgers, the Phillies, and the Mets cannot offer.

If he goes to the MFYs, he's never passing Judge, and now they have Soto, and that Martian kid coming. They already have the Cy Young winner in house, ask anyone how much of an event any of Cole's starts are there. (They're not.) Because the MFY fans, for all their team's success, have never prized their pitchers over their sluggers, which is why the team has never in their history have had a pitcher as their signature star. Not Waite Hoyt, not Lefty Gomez, not Allie Reynolds, not Whitey Ford, not Ron Guidry, not Andy Pettitte, not Roger Clemens, and not Gerrit Cole. (I'm old enough to remember Guidry in 78, but that was a blip, and he was still behind Thurman and Reggie.) They had the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game, the guy who was arguably more responsible for their last great run than anyone, and even he played second fiddle to a shortstop with the personality of a carp.

Compare that to the Sox, who have a long history of celebrating pitchers going back to Cy Young himself. And if he has any doubts about that, we can remind him that when we had the best player who ever played the game, we prized him for his skill as a left-handed ace pitcher, while when they got a hold of him, he had to bash a bunch of home runs to get any attention there.

(I know it's silly and desperate, but that's where we're at right now.)
This is my favorite post in a long time. I’m going to read it a third time. Please click the edit button and delete that last parenthetical. This is genuinely awesome!
 

Tokyo Sox

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There are three possible scenarios for Sasaki (ignoring the chance of injury):

1) He comes over in 2027 as originally anticipated, in which case the bidding/craziness will be like it was for Yamamoto this year. This is what I think will happen still.

2) He forces his way over after 2024, costing himself hundreds of millions of dollars and his team tens of millions of dollars. In this case, his FA will be like Ohtani's the first time, he will cost close to nothing and every team with any chance will be in on him.This is what @Tokyo Sox thinks will happen (apologies if that's not correct, TS).

3) MLB somehow decides to change the rules before next season, I think there's no chance of this but it is theoretically possible.
This is a good breakdown, and obviously reasonable minds can disagree about which scenario is more likely. @chawson @pdub if Sasaki does come next year, it won't be a repeat of what we're seeing with Yamamoto now.
 

buttons

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Why is it impossible? Did you bother looking at the current payroll? They have $47m of space under the CBT threshold, and $87m under CBT+40.

Also how does anyone get "top of pack" starters for under $30m?
I believe that there only 6 pitchers at $30million or more
After that no one over $25million. That would leave a pretty
large group of really good pitchers in the low 20s or less..
 

Sausage in Section 17

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I'm on record upthread that the deciding factor--assuming the bids are in the same ballpark--will be where this young man wants to spend the rest of his 20s and early 30s, so location over all.

But if I were making the offer for the Sox, I would lean into the Treat Williams/Michael Ovitz pitch to John Michael Higgins/David Letterman from HBO's The Late Show (Night Wars?), which is that if Yamamoto comes here, he would be the Sox signature star, and that has a value beyond measure. He is the opening starter, he's the guy on the yearbook, he's the face of the franchise. Because that is the one thing that the MFYs, the Dodgers, the Phillies, and the Mets cannot offer.

If he goes to the MFYs, he's never passing Judge, and now they have Soto, and that Martian kid coming. They already have the Cy Young winner in house, ask anyone how much of an event any of Cole's starts are there. (They're not.) Because the MFY fans, for all their team's success, have never prized their pitchers over their sluggers, which is why the team has never in their history have had a pitcher as their signature star. Not Waite Hoyt, not Lefty Gomez, not Allie Reynolds, not Whitey Ford, not Ron Guidry, not Andy Pettitte, not Roger Clemens, and not Gerrit Cole. (I'm old enough to remember Guidry in 78, but that was a blip, and he was still behind Thurman and Reggie.) They had the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game, the guy who was arguably more responsible for their last great run than anyone, and even he played second fiddle to a shortstop with the personality of a carp.

Compare that to the Sox, who have a long history of celebrating pitchers going back to Cy Young himself. And if he has any doubts about that, we can remind him that when we had the best player who ever played the game, we prized him for his skill as a left-handed ace pitcher, while when they got a hold of him, he had to bash a bunch of home runs to get any attention there.
This should be apppealing.

The ownership group, of course, can sell itself as the most successful in MLB during their current tenure.

They can bring Pedro and Papi in to reinforce your point about what it’s like to be the face of the franchise in a place like New England.

Maybe I’m just a hopeless homer, but in spite of our recent poor run on the field, and with free agents, I still think of Fenway as among the biggest stages in the game, and the Sox fan base at least within the top three of most connected/obsessed/knowledgeable.

if he’s a student of the game, he’ll know that the chance to play in Boston is among the most prestigious.

And it can’t be a good look for the Mets to have jettisoned Scherzer and Verlander. If he’s just about the money, then maybe they can offer the most, but hopefully he can see the differences in the stability of the organizations recently.
 

BigSoxFan

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Pitchers over $30M:

Scherzer
Verlander
DeGrom (oops)
Cole
Corbin (oops)
Strasburg (oops)
 

SouthernBoSox

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All of those guys have one thing in common: they’re old or getting old. YY is 25. Perfect guy to invest big money in.
All of those guys are also 6’3 200+.

Listen I’m not worried about him being 5’10 175 in 24 - 26. But after that it’s gonna get little scary on him holding up. There just aren’t many comps out there of someone that size.
 

HangingW/ScottCooper

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Yep and Yamamoto’s look much more cleaner, like Greinke’s.

Also didn’t Lincecum have a bit of a reputation off the field? YY seems like more of a Greinke-like tinkerer/full-time pitching weirdo. People forget Greinke used to throw 99 too. Greinke was a bigger guy than YY or Timmy (6’1) but he was able to reinvent himself in his 30s when his velo dipped and remained an ace.

View: https://twitter.com/jlasagna43/status/1737537094682386651?s=46
I think he liked... [gasp]... marijuana
 

pearccol

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You do know 5 years is a significant portion of 20 even removing recency bias, right? The last significant contract they signed on was Trevor Story which was a buy low to replace Bogaerts, and it already looks like loser (Bogaerts is already 4.5 wins better than Story which is about 45 million in value year one. Story is going to have a very tough time catching up to that value over the contract).

Ever since they extended Chris Sale they have been on a burn it down quest of epic portions.
not sure that there are many people who think that the Bogaerts contract was a good one. I’m a Sox fan living in San Diego and I’m still scratching my head.
 

Bergs

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not sure that there are many people who think that the Bogaerts contract was a good one. I’m a Sox fan living in San Diego and I’m still scratching my head.
Seriously. This is an insane take. Hilariously so.
 

simplicio

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Pitchers over $30M:

Scherzer
Verlander
DeGrom (oops)
Cole
Corbin (oops)
Strasburg (oops)
Corbin isn't (Ohtani is).

But you have to look at what the market has done in the last two years. The new norm is the pretty good guys get $20m and the aces get $35m+. DeGrom could probably rupture his Achilles tying his shoe and he's getting $37m. Glasnow has never pitched more than 120 innings and hasn't even compiled 10 fWAR in an 8 year career and he gets $27m.
 

tims4wins

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RedOctober3829

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All of those guys are also 6’3 200+.

Listen I’m not worried about him being 5’10 175 in 24 - 26. But after that it’s gonna get little scary on him holding up. There just aren’t many comps out there of someone that size.
That’s where an opt-out after 4 years is good for both sides. If he’s what everybody says he’s going to be he can hit the market at 29 and cash in again. If he’s a mid-rotation type of guy and doesn’t take the opt out, the going rate 4 years from now for those types is going to rise, it will not be a massive overpay, and the contract will be tradeable very soon after that.
 

Margo McCready

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Good morning my people! Happy Thursday! The #RedSox have not given up on Yamamoto. On the contrary, they remain willing to increase their offer. Yamamoto would not hate to arrive in a franchise where he would be its biggest star. The conditions are given… Always, Positive and OK.
This is exactly what Alex Cora’s body language and tone of voice had me suspecting in his interview yesterday. Maybe I’m too optimistic but I’ve got a good feeling about this.
 

Margo McCready

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I find it entirely believable YY could find the challenge to be the new PEDRO, ROCKET, or SALE DAY irresistible. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he looked and saw big bats like Devers and Casas, up the middle defensive wizards like Story and Rafaela, a young catcher to work with who has a budding reputation like Wong, more reinforcements on the way with Mayer, Teel and Anthony, oh yeah, and a friend manning the legendary Green Monster in left and think that this team’s on the upswing with this young core and aligns very nicely with his peak years heading into his early 30s. Who else has to offer something like that? Baltimore does but obviously they’re not a player here. The Yankees have Judge and Cole to play third-fiddle to and they’ll likely be clogging up that roster with their decline years just in time for YY to be peaking. The Dodgers are a Super Team, but he’s just a guy there and maybe that’s not enough for him. The Mets are The Mets. Granted, nobody but the teams involved are privy to any of this so I could be way off here, but I think we’ve got better than a puncher’s chance at landing him.
 

SouthernBoSox

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I said this a week ago (feels like a year) but the opt out in year 4 seems like a prerequisite to me.
 

sezwho

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This is exactly what Alex Cora’s body language and tone of voice had me suspecting in his interview yesterday. Maybe I’m too optimistic but I’ve got a good feeling about this.
I can’t quite get to full optimism but agree that was a weirdly upbeat energy out of Cora.

fwiw - I’m not convinced YY hasn’t been to Fenway based on that ‘can’t confirm or deny’ comment. When he first uttered I actually thought he was ‘just read between the lines here’ but then the ‘well he has friends here’ bit was less great.

I’m not sure if that means his friends told him about Boston OR that he’s been there with those friends before!

Or maybe I’m just double fisting the Hopium shots.
 

chawson

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This is kind of interesting from McCaffrey and Jennings in the Athletic. The Sox have three Japanese-speaking medical personnel, while the Mets and Yankees have none.

However, while multiple teams in the mix have a Japanese player currently on their roster, the Red Sox can also claim three Japanese-speaking members of their medical staff in strength coach Kiyoshi Momose — who spent time with Yamamoto’s former Orix Buffaloes teammate and current Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida in Japan this offseason — assistant trainer Masai Takahashi and massage therapist Shinichiro Uchikubo. The Mets and Yankees do not have Japanese-speaking medical personnel currently on staff. They are small differences, but in a process in which Yamamoto has been so calculated, small comforts like that could matter, especially since Yamamoto is so in tune with his mobility routines.
 
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