With the exception of Shohei Ohtani, no player is set to make a bigger splash in MLB’s offseason free agent market than Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is just the tip of the iceberg in an offseason when four pittchers from Japan are testing an MLB market that is likely to produce some record contracts.
Although Yamamoto is being posted and will have just a 45-day window to sign and a posting fee will need to be paid to Orix, MLB scouts and executives seem certain he will shatter the record for the biggest contract offered to a first-year MLB player.
Continue reading The Yamamoto market according to MLB
While I spent a rare Saturday off wandering around western Tokyo on a tour led by Teruyo’s friends to visit shrines and 1,500-year-old Asuka-period burial mounds that I didn’t know existed in the area, there has been some baseball news that needs catching up on.
Compared to 2022, when two big stars, catcher Tomoya Mori and Kensuke Kondo switched teams as free agents, this year’s domestic free agent class has definitely been down market, but we had our second signing.
We also have a newly signed pitcher who wants to be a two-way player, some bad news for the Rakuten Eagles, who are apparently continuing their history of having dictatorial types in the clubhouse.
Fighters sign Sachiya Yamasaki
The Nippon Ham Fighters signed 31-year-old free agent right-hander Sachiya Yamasaki, who in addition to the Buffaloes’ who wanted to re-sign him was being pursued by the Swallows, Giants, BayStars and Hawks. With the Fighters, he’ll be reunited with catcher Torai Fushimi, who moved to Hokkaido from Orix as a free agent a year ago.
Continue reading NPB news: Nov. 26, 2023