Yoshinobu Yamamoto reportedly meets with NL West team | Yardbarker

Pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is set to meet the Philadelphia Phillies’ representatives this Thursday, as reported by Jon Heyman from the New York Post. However, this isn’t the only team he’s been in discussions with lately.

Yamamoto had discussions with the San Francisco Giants on Sunday (per ESPN’s Buster Olney) and the New York Mets on Monday (reported by the Post’s Greg Joyce). Additionally, he met with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, as detailed by The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya and Ken Rosenthal.

With an impressive track record in the Japanese professional league—recording a 1.16 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in 171 innings across 24 games last season—the 25-year-old is expected to transition into an MLB starting role.

Jon Heyman previously mentioned the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays as other potential suitors for Yamamoto. The Blue Jays were also heavily linked in the pursuit of another sought-after free agent, Shohei Ohtani, before he joined the Dodgers.

While the Dodgers and Yankees have been prominent favorites in the race for Yamamoto, the Phillies are showing interest in bolstering their pitching depth after falling short by two wins of reaching the 2023 World Series.

Following the signing of Aaron Nola to a seven-year deal in November, the Phillies’ president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, outlined their 2024 starting rotation to include Zack Wheeler, Nola, Ranger Suárez, Taijuan Walker, and Cristopher Sánchez. However, uncertainty looms over the next available pitcher in case of injuries, as highlighted by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Alex Coffey.

Should the Phillies eye Yamamoto to address this potential gap, it will likely come with a hefty price tag. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale previously reported that Yamamoto could command a contract exceeding $160 million.

While the Phillies have substantial financial resources, it’s uncertain if they can outbid pitches from larger markets. Reports from Ardaya and Rosenthal mentioned influential figures like Ohtani, Mookie Betts, and Freddie Freeman were present during the Dodgers’ meeting with Yamamoto, showcasing the competitive market for his services.

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