If the New York Mets want their pitching to improve and succeed following last season, they ought to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The 25-year-old Japanese right-handed pitcher will step foot in Major League Baseball for the first time in 2024. There are a handful of teams interested in him, let alone made him high offers, and he aims to make a decision by Christmas.
The Mets are obviously among the bunch of teams in the Yamamoto sweepstakes, in which according to SNY’s Andy Martino, they made him an offer prior to owner Steve Cohen traveling to Japan to meet the guy. As a matter of fact, they had dinner at Cohen’s house on Dec. 16 with president of baseball operations David Stearns, new manager Carlos Mendoza, and returning pitching coach Jeremy Hefner all joining in. Yamamoto also met with the New York Yankees for a second time on Dec. 17, but no decision was made.
Other teams like the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox have already made offers for Yamamoto well in the $300 million range. It’s unknown whether that was the case for the Mets’ offer, but reports indicate that they’re expected to be “financially aggressive” during this quest. That’s rightfully the way to go about it, especially because they need him, and here are the reasons why.
Why Yamamoto Needs to Be Signed by the Mets
The Hole in Their Starting Rotation
As of now, the top of the Mets’ starting rotation seems solid enough with Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana. Yes, they did sign Luis Severino, but who knows how well he will perform after going through eight seasons with the Yankees with injuries here and there. The back of the rotation, however, is concerning. Guys like David Peterson and Tylor Megill are still on the depth chart representing the rotation’s backend. Both haven’t lived up to their potential throughout their time with the Mets so far, so maybe they could put Severino as the fourth or fifth starter, but we’ll see.
So, bringing Yamamoto to the Mets’ starting rotation would be highly beneficial. If you look at him statistically, the numbers are amazing. He has a 75-30 win-loss record in his seven seasons in Japan and foreign leagues. Additionally, he maintains a 1.72 ERA in 188 games played.
For a Mets team whose starting pitching struggled quite a bit in 2023, Yamamoto certainly would fill in that hole as probably a number two or number three starter, although it wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up in the number one spot over Senga.
The Connection Between Yamamoto and Senga
Speaking of Senga, it’s a known fact that he has been attempting to recruit Yamamoto into Queens. And why not? The two of them would make such a dynamic duo that the team could really use to their advantage. Yamamoto has even made it clear that he is not against joining a team already with a Japanese player.
With that said, it could be a valuable factor for Yamamoto’s decision. Player recruitment can make players comfortable with familiarity from others they already know. There is no other team at the moment doing this for him, so the Mets doing everything in their power to acquire Yamamoto really says a lot.
The Affordability for Yamamoto
Finally, this reason is about the affordability. As mentioned above, many teams are interested in Yamamoto, including the Mets. The price range is likely around $300 million, which has already been offered by the Giants and Red Sox. The Mets, meanwhile, have an owner who’s loaded with money. If you’re a Mets fan and want the team to sign Yamamoto, don’t be alarmed if the final offer comes out higher than expected. It’s almost like the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani. They gave him $700 million for 10 years. Now, that’s obviously not the price range for Yamamoto, but the point is that if the Dodgers got that deal done, Cohen has all the power in the world to take care of this one.
What if The Mets Don’t Sign Yamamoto?
Well, we all know that there are other options out there. There is also a scenario where the Mets could just go with in-house options, just like they’re doing for third base. However, if you’re a Mets fan, you should have hope that this will work out. It’s all in god’s hands now.
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