Cubs Still in on Yamamoto
Well, it wouldn’t be a Cubs rumor if there wasn’t an almost immediate update a few hours later. Despite a report in The Athletic that said the Cubs were no longer expected to be involved in negotiations with Yoshinobu Yamamoto because his price could surpass the $300 million mark, ESPN’s Jeff Passan had a different set of info Tuesday night.
On ESPN Tuesday night, live from the Winter Meetings, Passan remained steadfast in his reporting that the Cubs remain in the mix for Yamamoto.
(Earlier Tuesday night)
While the Chicago Cubs continue to wait on their status with Shohei Ohtani, the latest from The Athletic has the NL Central team bowing out of the bidding for Japanese starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
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Entering the offseason, it was believed that Yamamoto would sign a contract worth in the range of $200 million. The 25-year-old has been dominating in his native Japan and was officially posted by the Orix Buffaloes with the 45-day window to sign an MLB deal opening on Nov. 21. The New York Yankees and New York Mets, as well as several other teams have made their interest known and because of it, Yamamoto’s value has skyrocketed in the past two weeks.
According to New York Post reporter Jon Heyman, Yamamoto has garnered interest from seven other teams besides the two from New York.
Now, some believe the right-hander will land a contract worth more than $300 million, which would approach Gerrit Cole’s deal that is currently the largest for a pitcher in MLB history.
According to Cubs beat reporters Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma, the Cubs are not expected to take part in the bidding war for Yamamoto at that cost.
Via The Athletic.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto has generated so much interest from both New York teams and other big-market franchises that the Cubs are not expected to proceed in those high-stakes negotiations. The early projections were optimistic because Yamamoto is only 25 years old and pitching is always in great demand. But Yamamoto is now expected to land a contract worth close to $300 million, according to Jim Bowden, the former general manager of the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals and a national writer for The Athletic.
It’s disappointing to see from a Cubs fan perspective, but at the same time you can see why they would be apprehensive about signing a pitcher who has not played a single inning of MLB to $300 million. Plus, there are other viable options in free agency and via trades where the Cubs can upgrade their starting rotation.
Yet again, there’s a reason that Yamamoto is so highly coveted and will get an enormous contract from an MLB team within the next month. He is only 25-years-old, has the best stuff from a Japanese pitcher since Masahiro Tanaka and Yamamoto has won three consecutive league MVP and Sawamura Awards in Japan.
In 2023, Yamamoto recorded a 1.16 ERA with 176 strikeouts in 171 innings. He only surrendered two home runs and allowed a total of 28 walks in 24 starts.
The Cubs remain highly interested in Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow and appear to have made the righty one of their priorities as of late.