Following Shohei Ohtani (Angels), another Japanese starting pitcher is attracting attention in the FA market. The main character is not a big leaguer active in the major leagues, but Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), a ‘preliminary big leaguer’ who conquered Japan.
The Athletic, an American sports media outlet, mentioned Yamamoto’s name in two articles predicting the FA market this winter on the 13th (Korean time). One is the news that the New York Mets, owned by ‘big hand’ Steve Cohen, can target Yamamoto, and the other is the preliminary free agent rankings of Jim Borden, a former general manager and columnist.
Until the 12th, Yamamoto is recording 11 wins, 4 losses, an average ERA of 1.57, and 118 strikeouts. The average ERA and wins are first, and strikeouts are third. He continued to play in international competitions such as the Premier 12, Olympics, and WBC (World Baseball Classic), establishing himself as the ace of the Japanese national team.
Reporter Ken Rosenthal predicted that Cohen’s owner, who had arranged Max Scherzer (transfer to Texas) and Justin Verlander (transfer to Houston), could show presence in the free agent market again. However, he doesn’t expect to invest in older players like Scherzer and Verlander.메이저놀이터
The Mets set an all-time record in salary spending this year, but had to give up advancing to the postseason. At the same time, the new goal set is to win after 2025. If so, we need players who can maintain their skills for more than 3 years, not players who will be active for the next 1-2 years. The free agent who fits this is Yamamoto, who is now 25 years old.
“The free agent pitcher best suited for the Mets’ new target would be Yamamoto, who has never pitched in the major leagues yet. General manager Billy Eppler watched him at the WBC,” wrote Rosenthal.
Borden viewed Yamamoto as “a low-risk, third-rate pitcher.” He was ranked 9th in the FA rankings. He is sixth among starting pitchers. Ohtani, a starting pitcher and designated hitter, is by far the first, followed by Aaron Nola (Philadelphia), Blake Snell (San Diego), Julio Urias (Dodgers), and Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) Yamamoto.
“I saw Yamamoto pitch at the WBC, and I was impressed,” Borden said. I know how to take a ball out of the zone and put it in.”
He added, “Yamamoto is a seasoned, sensuous, and calm player. His fastball velocity was formed in the mid to late 90s. He throws a mixture of five pitches, including a powerful splitter and an above-average curveball. He uses both the top, bottom, left and right sides of the strike zone. He explained that he had already won the triple crown (ERA, strikeouts, and wins) in Japan over the past two years.