Mets, Yankees 2024 target Yoshinobu Yamamoto adds more intrigue to teeming MLB market

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Yoshinobu Yamamoto Mets Yankees
Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto of the Orix Buffaloes pitches against the Lotte Marines in Chiba, east of Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. Yamamoto has pitched a no-hit game for his Japanese club. (Kyodo News via AP)

Japanese superstar pitcher and Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto created even more buzz for his impending jump to Major League Baseball on Saturday night. 

The 25-year-old right-hander pitched his second career no-hitter, striking out eight and walking one in a 4-0 victory over the Lotte Marines. It’s the cherry on top of yet another brilliant season for Yamamoto, who is 14-5 with a 1.26 ERA and 145 strikeouts compared to just 24 walks in 143 innings of work in Nippon Professional Baseball. 

With it, he’s lowered his career ERA to a sterling 1.84 mark over seven NPB seasons, building his resume even further as he is expected to be posted by Orix this winter where he will receive a sizable deal from a major-league team in the United States. 

Among those teams interested has been the Mets, who had been scouting Yamamoto in Japan since at least July when Billy Eppler made his way over. The New York general manager is held in high regard on the Japanese market having been the man to sign Shohei Ohtani to the Los Angeles Angels before inking Kodai Senga to a five-year, $75 million deal with the Mets last winter. 

Yoshinobu Yamamoto Mets Yankees rumors
Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, center, of the Orix Buffaloes celebrates with teammates after pitching a no-hit game against the Lotte Marines in Chiba, east of Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Kyodo News via AP)

Yamamoto is expected to get a significantly larger deal than Senga, who at 30 years old is garnering Rookie of the Year consideration as the Mets’ ace in 2023. 

But the Yankees have seemingly entered the chat, officially, as well.

General manager Brian Cashman was on hand to watch Yamamoto’s no-hitter on Saturday, giving the hurler a standing ovation as he sat just behind the dugout.

The Yankees are in desperate need of legitimate starting pitching depth behind Gerrit Cole, who is putting together an AL Cy Young-worthy season in 2023. 

Carlos Rodon has struggled mightily in his first season with the Yankees, dealing with injury issues while posting a 6.60 ERA across 10 starts after signing in free agency last offseason. 

Luis Severino and Nestor Cortes also regressed significantly while dealing with injuries, as well. 

For more on the Yankees, Mets, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, visit AMNY.com