LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly on the verge of landing Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
According to a report from ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Dodgers and Yamamoto have tentatively agreed to a 12-year, 325 million deal.
Yamamoto, a gold medalist in the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2023 World Baseball Classic for Samurai Japan, will suit up for the Boys in Blue with fellow Dodger newbies Shohei Ohtani and Tyler Glasnow. The signing of Yamamoto comes just weeks after LA landed the ultimate offseason grand prize in Ohtani, who signed with the Dodgers on a 10-year, $700 million contract.
If the Ohtani signing was considered a grand prize by many in the MLB circles, Yamamoto is likely the offseason's other jackpot – or at least the second prize – as the 25-year-old righty leaves Japan with a jaw-dropping resume that includes three Eiji Sawamura awards – Japan's equivalent of the Cy Young Award; three Japanese pitching triple crowns; three Pacific League MVPs and threw two no-hitters.
Yamamoto was on Japan's loaded 2023 WBC pitching rotation that included Ohtani, former Dodger Yu Darvish and 22-year-old NPB phenom Roki Sasaki. Yamamoto got his first taste of MLB hitting in the WBC semis, throwing 3 ⅓ innings and allowing two runs on three hits and striking out four batters. Prior to the 6-5 thriller over Mexico, Yamamoto threw four shutout innings, struck out eight and allowed one hit in Japan's 7-1 round-robin victory over Australia.
Now in Los Angeles, Yamamoto is not only reunited with WBC teammate and countryman in Ohtani, but he also joins a rotation that is projected to include former All-Star Walker Buehler – who is coming off a Tommy John surgery; Tyler Glasnow; Bobby Miller; Emmett Sheehan and Ryan Yarbrough. The Dodgers await Clayton Kershaw, who has yet to announce what his plans are for 2024.
Yamamoto and Glasnow fill a massive need after the Dodgers' rotation became thin in late 2023 after losing Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May to injuries. Julio Urías was pulled from the rotation late in the regular season after he was arrested for felony domestic abuse allegations.