Offseason rumors

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simplicio

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Cease daytime: 3.73 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
Cease night: 5.31 ERA, 1.53 WHIP
Bello day: 6.94 ERA, 1.75 WHIP
Bello night: 3.06 ERA, 1.16 WHIP

If we trade for Cease without sending Bello, maybe they can teach each other something. Or we can platoon them.
 

doc

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Cease daytime: 3.73 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
Cease night: 5.31 ERA, 1.53 WHIP
Bello day: 6.94 ERA, 1.75 WHIP
Bello night: 3.06 ERA, 1.16 WHIP

If we trade for Cease without sending Bello, maybe they can teach each other something. Or we can platoon them.
So we would rule day/night double headers
 

JM3

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It would be fun to throw the season schedule, day/night splits home/road splits, results in different stadiums & against different opponents, etc., all into some program that tells you the optimal way to structure your rotation.

Like yes, Bello is our 2nd best starter, but he'll get 37% more night games if we put him 4th in the rotation.
 

Yaz4Ever

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How much would Bailey help him regain his stuff from 21? Also, when saying I’d love that trade, it also showed I’m not really sold on Duran and Yorke.
 

chawson

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Yeah...'22 was an amazing year, but a lot of scary stuff when comparing '23 to it. He lost over 1 mph on basically all his pitches. Despite throwing his slider slower, it lost significant amounts of horizontal & vertical movement, & he also lost movement on his slower curveball.

He's also an extreme fly ball pitcher (20th percentile groundballs) who walks a lot of people (25th percentile) & allowed a lot of hard hit balls last year (23rd percentile), all of which can be rough at Fenway.

He was also straight up awful after the 1st time through the order last year:

1st time: 2.58 ERA
2nd time: 5.74 ERA
3rd time: 6.25 ERA

This is a huge departure from '22:

1st time: 2.28 ERA
2nd time: 1.44 ERA
3rd time: 3.58 ERA

This is not a big surprise as his secondary pitches took a large hit & with a slower fastball & without the elite slider that made him so lights out in '22, it's going to get a lot rougher a lot quicker. So the question is...is there a reason his pitches weren't nearly as good in '23 that is fixable & will make his '24 stuff more like his '22 stuff, or is 2 years of Cease not that exciting of an acquisition?
I have been unexcited by Cease but I would probably do that deal if Eloy is in it too.

Even despite the so-so year, Cease put up elite swinging strike and zone contact rates, especially for a starter. Would be pretty great to extend him if possible but not optimistic now that he’s a Boras guy.

It also seems like it was pretty miserable to be a White Sox player last year. Regardless, he’s probably playing for Atlanta or the Dodgers by tomorrow.
 

EyeBob

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I have been unexcited by Cease but I would probably do that deal if Eloy is in it too.

Even despite the so-so year, Cease put up elite swinging strike and zone contact rates, especially for a starter. Would be pretty great to extend him if possible but not optimistic now that he’s a Boras guy.

It also seems like it was pretty miserable to be a White Sox player last year. Regardless, he’s probably playing for Atlanta or the Dodgers by tomorrow.
Yeah ATL needs a starter. They lost out on Nola (kinda) and now Gray.
 

iddoc

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Sonny Gray's numbers are very scary against the AL east, but this is a very reasonable contract for a guy who's been a 3-6 win pitcher (outside Covid) that last 4 years.
I would have been fine with that contract, and 5/125 for Montgomery. I don’t have a good feeling about the Yamamoto sweepstakes.
 

Yo La Tengo

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I have been unexcited by Cease but I would probably do that deal if Eloy is in it too.

Even despite the so-so year, Cease put up elite swinging strike and zone contact rates, especially for a starter. Would be pretty great to extend him if possible but not optimistic now that he’s a Boras guy.

It also seems like it was pretty miserable to be a White Sox player last year. Regardless, he’s probably playing for Atlanta or the Dodgers by tomorrow.
I share your unexcitement with Cease and I would extend that sentiment to Jimenez as well. He averages less than 100 games a season due to never ending injuries, is not a good defender, and isn't cheap, at $16.5 and $18.5 million the next two years. I would predict that at some point he will have a standout season, but I think it will be frustrating process waiting for the stars to align.
 

JM3

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Not surprising, but looks like Ohtani isn't happening.

According to @JeffPassan, the Red Sox have turned their focus away from Shohei Ohtani.

“The Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets, who were among the initial group of suitors, have turned their attention to other players, sources said. Among those confirmed by sources to be still in the bidding: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and Angels.”
View: https://twitter.com/tylermilliken_/status/1730581162173534282
 

Jed Zeppelin

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There are lots of different paths to a good offseason. All-in on Ohtani may have been one of them, but also probably the riskiest if the price ends up in the stratosphere. I do think they need to go the extra mile if they have 2-4 other impact players they want—whether that be in FA or trades. The three up-the-middle blue-chip prospects + tremendous depth give them a lot of leeway to selectively splurge and fill in cheaply over the next few years.
 

BigSoxFan

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There are lots of different paths to a good offseason. All-in on Ohtani may have been one of them, but also probably the riskiest if the price ends up in the stratosphere. I do think they need to go the extra mile if they have 2-4 other impact players they want—whether that be in FA or trades. The three up-the-middle blue-chip prospects + tremendous depth give them a lot of leeway to selectively splurge and fill in cheaply over the next few years.
I hate to be as simplistic as “Yamamoto or bust” but that’s pretty much my position right now. I don’t want Snell and doubt he wants us anyways. Montgomery would be a fine secondary addition but if he’s your headliner…meh. Bellinger will be too costly and I don’t really trust him. I’d take Imanaga as a secondary option. Stroman falls in the Montgomery category for me as well.

We’ll see what the trade market yields. Breslow may need to make his biggest impact there if Yamamoto signs elsewhere.
 

RedOctober3829

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I hate to be as simplistic as “Yamamoto or bust” but that’s pretty much my position right now. I don’t want Snell and doubt he wants us anyways. Montgomery would be a fine secondary addition but if he’s your headliner…meh. Bellinger will be too costly and I don’t really trust him. I’d take Imanaga as a secondary option. Stroman falls in the Montgomery category for me as well.

We’ll see what the trade market yields. Breslow may need to make his biggest impact there if Yamamoto signs elsewhere.
This is pretty much where I am at. It certainly is Yamamoto or bust. They need to win this bidding war then go on to sign or trade for a #2 starter. Those two top rotation spots are critical for success.
 

BaseballJones

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I'm 100% in on "Yamamoto or bust". This is going to sound like hyperbole, but I think he is the most important FA acquisition this team needs in a very long time. They have a desperate need for a #1 starter. This guy is it. He's young. He's electric. He costs only money, which the Sox have lots of - both in terms of real dollars and in space in their payroll. He's EXACTLY what they need. He also gives them a splash, which they need too. He fits in EVERY SINGLE WAY. The need is there. The opportunity is there. And then they can use their minor league chips to improve elsewhere.

It will cost a TON of money. So be it. THIS is what you spend the money on. This guy right here.

Yamamoto or bust.
 

The Gray Eagle

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McCaffrey in the Athletic:
https://theathletic.com/5102882/2023/12/01/red-sox-winter-meetings-primer/

Surely we have had a Zoom meeting with Yamamoto by now. He apparently won't be signing for a week or more:
The top free-agent pitcher was posted by his Nippon Professional Baseball team just before Thanksgiving and has reportedly been meeting with all interested teams via Zoom this past week. However, he doesn’t plan to meet with teams in person until after Winter Meetings end on Thursday.
On potentially trading prospects:
At the moment, it seems like top prospects Marcelo Mayer, Kyle Teel and Roman Anthony are off the table, but never say never, especially with new leadership in charge. Breslow admitted he’s leaning on his staff for evaluations of prospects in trades, while also acknowledging his fresh set of eyes might convince him a particular player’s value is not as high as the team thinks.

“I think it can cut both ways,” Breslow said at the GM Meetings. “I don’t have the emotional attachment having been part of the decision to draft the guys or to acquire them. With that, though, comes the possibility that I’m not seeing the total picture, though. The further away these guys are from the big leagues, the harder it is to project future performance. So that’s why we’ll lean into others who do know these players far more intimately than I do.”

Nick Yorke, Miguel Bleis and Ceddanne Rafalea are all potential options to be traded. If the Red Sox want to go for a big splash, does a mega-package with Verdugo, Houck and two or three of those prospects get it done?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I don’t think signing Yamamoto and Montgomery is terribly realistic. Allocating $400M to two pitchers probably isn’t in the cards after the Price / Sale debacle. Montgomery or Burnes and someone like Manaea / Lugo / Wacha seems more realistic to me.
 

BaseballJones

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"If the Red Sox want to go for a big splash, does a mega-package with Verdugo, Houck and two or three of those prospects get it done?"

Get WHAT done? A "big splash"? For whom?
 

BigSoxFan

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I don’t think signing Yamamoto and Montgomery is terribly realistic. Allocating $400M to two pitchers probably isn’t in the cards after the Price / Sale debacle. Montgomery or Burnes and someone like Manaea / Lugo / Wacha seems more realistic to me.
If they sign Yamamoto, I don’t expect them to sign another big FA SP. If they don’t sign Yamamoto, I’m fearful of a couple Story like contracts for guys who may be good but who don’t have the upside we need.
 

PedroisGod

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I'm 100% in on "Yamamoto or bust". This is going to sound like hyperbole, but I think he is the most important FA acquisition this team needs in a very long time. They have a desperate need for a #1 starter. This guy is it. He's young. He's electric. He costs only money, which the Sox have lots of - both in terms of real dollars and in space in their payroll. He's EXACTLY what they need. He also gives them a splash, which they need too. He fits in EVERY SINGLE WAY. The need is there. The opportunity is there. And then they can use their minor league chips to improve elsewhere.

It will cost a TON of money. So be it. THIS is what you spend the money on. This guy right here.

Yamamoto or bust.
This is where I'm at too, but I don't think it's going to be easy. I do think they'll push their chips all in and offer a ton, but so will the Dodgers, Yankees, and Mets. It's very possible the Sox come in with one of the highest or the highest offer and he'll just prefer to play for another team. Hopefully Breslow can do what he did with Taillon and Stroman and the relationship with Yoshida can work in our favour.
 

BaseballJones

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Yamamoto isn't anything like Sale or Price.

Sale was 30 when they had extended him, and he was coming off a year where his innings load was reduced due to injury. Yes they won the WS in 2018, but you could already see warning signs.

And Price was also 30 when they signed him.

Yamamoto is 25. They'll be getting the very best years of him if they sign him.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Yamamoto isn't anything like Sale or Price.

Sale was 30 when they had extended him, and he was coming off a year where his innings load was reduced due to injury. Yes they won the WS in 2018, but you could already see warning signs.

And Price was also 30 when they signed him.

Yamamoto is 25. They'll be getting the very best years of him if they sign him.
And also the worst, if it’s a 10–12 year deal.
 

BaseballJones

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This is where I'm at too, but I don't think it's going to be easy. I do think they'll push their chips all in and offer a ton, but so will the Dodgers, Yankees, and Mets. It's very possible the Sox come in with one of the highest or the highest offer and he'll just prefer to play for another team. Hopefully Breslow can do what he did with Taillon and Stroman and the relationship with Yoshida can work in our favour.
Yes of course even if the Sox are the highest bidder, he could always choose to sign elsewhere. But the Red Sox need to make him by far their #1 priority and be willing to spend whatever it takes - outbid everyone and then IF he still chooses to go elsewhere, so be it. You can't MAKE him come here of course. But you want to give him an offer he can't refuse.
 

DeadlySplitter

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"If the Red Sox want to go for a big splash, does a mega-package with Verdugo, Houck and two or three of those prospects get it done?"

Get WHAT done? A "big splash"? For whom?
I'd guess a Cease / Bieber / Burnes. And I think it would take one of the big three prospects for them.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Sure but by years 7-12 his cost won't be nearly as bad compared to what starting pitchers will be paid at that point in time, given how salaries are rocketing upward.
I mean, maybe. But who knows how many HH will subscribe to NESN at that point and how that will impact the teams revenues? It’s no guarantee that revenue will continue to skyrocket, all the RSN stuff would make me a little nervous to give out too many huge deals that go far beyond the current CBA.
 

moondog80

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At this point it makes some some sense for Montgomery, Stroman, etc. to wait out the Yamamoto auctions and then let the losing bidders turn their attention toward them. Same with the teams looking to trade guys like Cease. Hopefully that's how it goes down because it would suck to put all of your eggs in the Yamamoto basket and either lose out or get forced into an insane contract.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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And also the worst, if it’s a 10–12 year deal.
Yes. But this is what it's going to take to sign him. Pretty much all long-term deals suck, I mean this is practically a given at this point--aside from Manny's deal, though I guess you could argue his last year was a bit of a headache, though his production never dipper. However, none of these deals have ever really hamstrung a franchise.

Yamamoto and his Wave Motion Gun of an arm is going to help the Red Sox this year and probably for the next three-to-seven years. That's a huge win for Boston. Worry about years eight through twelve in the 2030s.

I mean, maybe. But who knows how many HH will subscribe to NESN at that point and how that will impact the teams revenues? It’s no guarantee that revenue will continue to skyrocket, all the RSN stuff would make me a little nervous to give out too many huge deals that go far beyond the current CBA.
Then you are against signing big ticket free agents. Hard stop. Which is fine. But a guy like Yamamoto doesn't come around every offseason. If the only thing that he costs is money (and FSG has BILLIONS, so don't worry too much about where they're going to get their next meals), you find a dump truck, fill it with dollars and park it in front of his house and beg him to play for you.

This is as big of a no brainer as there is.
 

E5 Yaz

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At this point it makes some some sense for Montgomery, Stroman, etc. to wait out the Yamamoto auctions and then let the losing bidders turn their attention toward them. Same with the teams looking to trade guys like Cease.
I'm pretty sure that's exactly what's going on. Unless Seattle decides to pony up for Snell, or someone on the second-tier gets a too-good take it or leave it offer, there should be a feeding frenzy as soon as Yamamoto is off the board.
As for being "out" on Ohtani, it shouldn't be much of a surprise. I'd be very surprised if they sign anyone for a total deal higher than what they gave Devers.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I 100% think the Sox should blow the bank (and whoever else) in order to get Yamamoto. But, I'm pretty sure the Yankees and Mets feel the same way. If the Sox lose out on him, Montgomery's price tag is going to go up and I'm sure Boras is playing this and while I like Montgomery, his price tag may be more like an Ace rather than the "no. 2" he really should be priced at. In this case, I'd rather look at Imanaga and then put together a great package that'd include Mayer to Milwaukee and get Corbin and Adames (or other deals proposed above).
 

DeadlySplitter

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At this point it makes some some sense for Montgomery, Stroman, etc. to wait out the Yamamoto auctions and then let the losing bidders turn their attention toward them. Same with the teams looking to trade guys like Cease. Hopefully that's how it goes down because it would suck to put all of your eggs in the Yamamoto basket and either lose out or get forced into an insane contract.
Well if Yamamoto isn't signing next week, the Winter Meetings are going to be a big tease, after this week has been fairly quiet too.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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At this point it makes some some sense for Montgomery, Stroman, etc. to wait out the Yamamoto auctions and then let the losing bidders turn their attention toward them. Same with the teams looking to trade guys like Cease. Hopefully that's how it goes down because it would suck to put all of your eggs in the Yamamoto basket and either lose out or get forced into an insane contract.
My vote is certainly not Yamamoto or bust. Too many question marks for that. One way or the other, I think the Sox need two top 3 SPs this off-season. Hopefully they have acquired one, either via trade or FA signing before Yamamoto makes his decision.

I think this is why some of us have been advocating trading for a cost controlled 1/2/3 SP for some time. It also makes some sense as to why the reports are out there that the Sox prefer to acquire via trade first and THEN go the free agent route.

If you've already acquired someone like Cease, Gilbert, Keller, whomever then your eggs aren't all in the Yamamoto basket - or anyone else. At that point it gives you a lot more options and you don't look as desperate because while neither is an ace (at least not yet) Bello and Cease give you two SPs that belong in the top half of a rotation. Then even if YY goes elsewhere, you can have Montgomery as another "2" and go with Bello, Cease, Montgomery, Crawford Houck/Pivetta/other FA signing/12 starts from Chris Sale and feel pretty good.

Or spread that money around and go with something like Bello, Cease, Rodriguez, Imanaga, Crawford/Pivetta/Houck/other FA/12 starts from Sale and still feel pretty good.

Needing to fill two spots at the top of your rotation in one off-season isn't great. Especially when your #4 and #5 come with humongous question marks of their own. But that's the hole the Sox find themselves in.
 

PedroisGod

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I'd guess a Cease / Bieber / Burnes. And I think it would take one of the big three prospects for them.
Of the three, give me Burnes. Cease has an extra year of control over Burnes, but his command issues worry me. I want no part of Bieber and his injuries and diminished velocity.

Yes. But this is what it's going to take to sign him. Pretty much all long-term deals suck, I mean this is practically a given at this point--aside from Manny's deal, though I guess you could argue his last year was a bit of a headache, though his production never dipper. However, none of these deals have ever really hamstrung a franchise.
I think with Yamamoto's age, he might not want a 10 year deal. I'd guess that he would want to be able to be a free agent again at some point before he turns 30. Maybe there'll be some sort of 7-8 year deal, with an opt-out after 3 that would allow him to become a FA again at 28 if he's successful, or 32-33 at worst.
 

chawson

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Also in the only money department, we should really throw a bunch at Brandon Woodruff. Some version of the Paxton deal at like double the size would make sense. He’s out for likely all of 2024 but a 4/$60 deal could still feel like a steal.
 

JM3

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Also in the only money department, we should really throw a bunch at Brandon Woodruff. Some version of the Paxton deal at like double the size would make sense. He’s out for likely all of 2024 but a 4/$60 deal could still feel like a steal.
I was just wondering to myself if maybe Burnes & Woodruff are bffs & trading for Burnes & signing Woodruff in tandem could lead Burnes to want to extend in Boston. You know, if the Yamamoto/Imanaga duo falls through.
 
I'm sure that I must be missing something, but when did we stop worrying about the transition variability of NPB players? It really seems like people are penciling in Yamamoto as a sure-fire #1 ace of aces type. I get that his stuff is great and he's only 25, but isn't there always a significant question of how well any NPB player will transition to MLB? How are we so confident that he won't end up as a ~4 FIP #2 type? If you're throwing $300+mm at him or "whatever it takes" you're expecting an unquestionable #1.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I was just wondering to myself if maybe Burnes & Woodruff are bffs & trading for Burnes & signing Woodruff in tandem could lead Burnes to want to extend in Boston. You know, if the Yamamoto/Imanaga duo falls through.
Seeing as to how the Red Sox signed not only Pedro's brother but also his buddy and that worked out pretty well...

@JM3 - I'm just randomly curious - what do you think it would take to acquire Burnes from the prospects the Sox have, and as a Boras client, what do you think he'd need to be offered to sign an extension. I for one would certainly be interested in the pitcher, but I'd also tell the Brewers that the prospects they got back were dependent on them granting a window to discuss said extension and getting one worked out (which I think it'd be 7/$175m - or a little more than Nola signed for on the open market - which I'd be more than fine with).

For an extended Burnes the only prospects I'd balk on would be Anthony and Teel. Obviously for one year of him with a window and extension, the acquisition cost I'd be willing to pay would be down substantially.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think with Yamamoto's age, he might not want a 10 year deal. I'd guess that he would want to be able to be a free agent again at some point before he turns 30. Maybe there'll be some sort of 7-8 year deal, with an opt-out after 3 that would allow him to become a FA again at 28 if he's successful, or 32-33 at worst.
I believe that unless it's written into the contract that the team will relinquish rights at X time, the team that signs Yamamoto will have control of him for at least 6 years, same as any other player fresh into the league. So I can't imagine any opt-outs after 3 years will be in the cards. More likely, if he gets an opt-out, it will coincide with when he'd reach six years of service time around age 31. Still a fine time to jump into the market for a second bite at the apple, as long as he has fulfilled expectations.
 

burstnbloom

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I'd guess a Cease / Bieber / Burnes. And I think it would take one of the big three prospects for them.
I don't think it would be wise to give up one of those three players for those three pitchers. I'm not convinced Cease is someone worth targeting given the White Sox ask at the trade deadline. He got hit a lot harder last year, lost a mile per hour across all of his pitches and his struggles to command his fastball in the zone likely contributed to a lot of that. It feels like an injury waiting to happen. Bieber has even larger velocity drop issues and I like Burnes but his performance does not live up to the reputation he has, which was built on his amazing cy young season. I want pitching upgrades but I'd be upset to see one of the big three go for these guys.
 

Cassvt2023

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Of the three, give me Burnes. Cease has an extra year of control over Burnes, but his command issues worry me. I want no part of Bieber and his injuries and diminished velocity.



I think with Yamamoto's age, he might not want a 10 year deal. I'd guess that he would want to be able to be a free agent again at some point before he turns 30. Maybe there'll be some sort of 7-8 year deal, with an opt-out after 3 that would allow him to become a FA again at 28 if he's successful, or 32-33 at worst.
My prediction on one of these threads last week for YY was 9yr/$252m, with an option to opt out after yr 3 and again yr 6.
 

snowmanny

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I get that his stuff is great and he's only 25, but isn't there always a significant question of how well any NPB player will transition to MLB? How are we so confident that he won't end up as a ~4 FIP #2 type? If you're throwing $300+mm at him or "whatever it takes" you're expecting an unquestionable #1.
Next time there’s an “unquestionable” FA signing I’ll be 100% on board.

You have to spend your money somewhere and you have to take your shots sometime. I’m not re-litigating Betts or Bogaerts but the Sox want to compete right now, and they kind have boxed themselves in to a spot where they needed to re-sign Devers, and now there’s a lot of pressure on them to deliver for the pitching staff. They don’t really have a lot of room to defer getting a front-line starter to 2026 or something.

Edit: I actually expect them to sign him simply because I think they are desperate.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I believe that unless it's written into the contract that the team will relinquish rights at X time, the team that signs Yamamoto will have control of him for at least 6 years, same as any other player fresh into the league. So I can't imagine any opt-outs after 3 years will be in the cards. More likely, if he gets an opt-out, it will coincide with when he'd reach six years of service time around age 31. Still a fine time to jump into the market for a second bite at the apple, as long as he has fulfilled expectations.
I imagine that if the player wants an opt out after a few years, someone will certainly be willing to give it to him. If there are as many bidders as rumored to be, than the player can make more demands. I suspect it could depend on the team; he may not require an opt out if he signs with the Dodgers or Yankees but think he’d be more likely to want one from the Blue Jays or Mariners (although a NTC could suffice).

I don’t think the “six years service time” is really relevant to this situation, which is pretty unique. I’d be looking for 12 years guaranteed with an opt out after 3. Someone will blink.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm sure that I must be missing something, but when did we stop worrying about the transition variability of NPB players? It really seems like people are penciling in Yamamoto as a sure-fire #1 ace of aces type. I get that his stuff is great and he's only 25, but isn't there always a significant question of how well any NPB player will transition to MLB? How are we so confident that he won't end up as a ~4 FIP #2 type? If you're throwing $300+mm at him or "whatever it takes" you're expecting an unquestionable #1.
Wouldn’t say we stopped worrying but all the ingredients are there for an ace. And he’s only 25 so what you see next year probably isn’t the best you’ll see. There’s projectability here that is intriguing. He certainly may not hit his projections but the fact that half the league is falling over themselves to sign him leads me to believe that everyone is pretty comfortable lining up the cash piles for him.
 
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