The Yankees are in on Yoshinobu Yamamoto and, depending on who you ask, they’re the favorites — though the validity of some of those reports and speculation obviously remains to be seen.
But general manager Brian Cashman certainly appears wary of the Mets, who are also going all out for the Japanese superstar pitcher.
When asked if he can keep up with Mets owner Steve Cohen if things descend into a bidding war, Cashman said “I don’t think anyone can compete with Steve Cohen.”
“He’s a titan of industry. He’s had a lot of success, and he’s built an empire, which has allowed him to do things like the Mets, which is good for him and his family,” Cashman said (h/t SNY). “We can just concentrate on what we can concentrate on. This is a player of interest and we’ll compete for him. It’ll be enough or it won’t be enough.”
The 25-year-old right-handed Yamamoto is the crown jewel of the free-agent starting pitching market after a superb eight-year showing in Nippon Professional Baseball. Winning three league MVPs and three additional Sawamura Awards, which is Japan’s equivalent to the Cy Young Award.
He went 17-6 in 2023 with a 1.16 ERA, 0.860 WHIP, and 176 strikeouts in 171 innings pitched. It lowered his career ERA to 1.72.
Given the fever surrounding his market, Yamamoto is expected to get a sizable deal that is expected to come in at approximately eight years and north of $200 million — a figure that could obviously increase if a bidding war does, in fact, go down.