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Red Sox patiently waiting for free agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto to be posted
The Red Sox’ biggest need this winter is adding starting pitching. Craig Breslow has repeatedly told reporters since taking over he will look to add to the team’s rotation after Boston posted 4.68 team ERA last season (22nd in MLB).
One name the Red Sox are reportedly connected to is Japanese free agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Once his is officially posted, teams, including the Red Sox can negotiate with the righty the following day. Teams will have 45 days to negotiate and strike a deal with the top free agent pitcher.
"I'd like to thank my team for accepting my request," Yamamoto said at the conclusion of his season back in early November.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan expects the market for Yamamoto to be robust.
“With the trajectory of the bidding and the teams involved -- the Yankees, Mets, Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, perhaps San Francisco and Toronto as well -- Yamamoto could find himself in their (Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg’s) company, and the separator could be which team is willing to offer him big money and an opt-out clause to further leverage his age,” reported Passan.
Yamamoto is coming off a strong season where he went 17-6 with an astonishing 1.16 ERA, 0.86 WHIP.
The 25-year-old wowed fans and teams during the World Baseball Classic in March, he continued to dominate during the regular season in Japan. Yamamoto’s value has skyrocketed to the point teams around the league, including the Red Sox view him as a No. 1 or No. 2 type starter.
Besides the Red Sox, the Mets, Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies, Rangers, Cardinals, Giants and Cubs will all be involved in the pursuit to land Yamamoto.
Yamamoto is said to be comfortable playing on a team with other Japanese teammates. Some Japanese-born players are uncomfortable being in the majors with other Japanese players, reported Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
WIth the righty open-minded about having other Japanese players on the roster, it bodes well for the Red Sox who already have Masataka Yoshida and the same can ring true for the Mets who have pitcher Kodai Senga.
Yamamoto has a 70-29 record in Japanese baseball. His trademark is his wide assortment of breaking pitches within his arsenal, excellent command and a fastball in the mid-90 mph range.
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