LA Dodgers sign Japanese pitching star to $325 million contract

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News December 22, 2023

In one of the largest deals for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto agreed on a 12-year, $325 million contract, sources told ESPN on Thursday.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The deal for Yamamoto pushed the Dodgers’ free agent spending this winter to more than $1 billion. Earlier this month, the Dodgers signed free agent Shohei Ohtani to an MLB record $700 million contract over 10 years. Ohtani, an MVP pitching and hitting star with the Los Angeles Angels for six seasons, is also from Japan.

In the deal for Yamamoto, the Dodgers agreed to pay an additional $50.6 million posting fee to Yamamoto’s previous team, the Orix Buffaloes.

Yamamoto, who has a pair of opt-outs in the contract, will receive a $50 million signing bonus, sources said. Unlike Ohtani’s deal, in which $680 million is deferred 10 years out, Yamamoto’s contract does not contain any deferred money.

The 25-year-old Yamamoto, a right-hander, has dominated the Nippon Professional Baseball league. Over 820⅓ innings, he has posted a 1.65 ERA, struck out nearly five times as many hitters as he has walked and allowed one home run every 28 innings.

the Dodgers outlasted the New York Mets, who offered a similar contract to Yamamoto, and the New York Yankees, who were long the favorite but ended up offering $300 million, sources said. The Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays were in the bidding, too, but couldn’t overcome the Dodgers, who have now accounted for more than half the spending across MLB in free agency this winter.

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