Yoshinobu Yamamoto is officially on the board.
The Japanese right-hander was posted Monday by the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League, giving him 45 days to sign with a MLB team, beginning at 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
Bidding on Yamamoto could start in the $200 million neighborhood, according to industry sources, with the Dodgers, Red Sox and Phillies joining the list of potential suitors.
The Mets looked to Japan last offseason in signing Kodai Senga to a five-year contract worth $75 million.
The right-hander rewarded the club on the investment by pitching to a 2.98 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 166 1/3 innings.
Yamamoto’s ceiling is regarded as even higher.
“It’s legit,” said a major league talent evaluator who has watched both pitchers. “It’s better than Senga. Yamamoto is younger. I think [Yamamoto] has better fastball command. Senga’s cutter and split are probably better, but [Yamamoto] is a better pitcher, which is crazy to say because Senga is really good, too.”The Mets and Yankees are both interested in Yoshinobu Yamamoto.Kyodo News/Sipa USA
Masahiro Tanaka’s seven-year contract worth $155 million, which he received from the Yankees before the 2014 season, is the richest for a Japanese pitcher.
The deadline for the signing club to submit terms on Yamamoto, under the posting system, is 5 p.m. on Jan. 4.2023-11-20T19:26:19Z dg43tfdfdgfd