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Yoshinobu Yamamoto Next Team Odds: Mets Are Taking The Lead On This MLB Race

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

Yoshinobu Yamamoto Next Team Odds: Mets Are Taking The Lead On This MLB Race

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Casual MLB fans may not know who Yoshinobu Yamamoto is. But all MLB teams do. And they want him on their roster for 2024. 

Yamamoto is a Japanese phenom pitcher who is expected to “post” as an eligible MLB free agent. The 25-year-old went 17-6 this past season in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, with a minuscule 1.16 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. He struck out 176 in 171 innings thrown. 

Now that transcendent star Shohei Ohtani has signed with the Dodgers, Yamamoto is the most-sought after free agent on the market.

Bookies.com veteran oddsmaker Adam Thompson has researched the MLB landscape and updated MLB odds as to where Yamamoto will play his home games in 2024. 

Yoshinobu Yamamoto 2024 Team Odds

TeamOddsImplied Probability
New York Mets+17537.4%
New York Yankees+20033.3%
Los Angeles Dodgers+25028.6%
Boston Red Sox+17505.4%
San Francisco Giants+18005.3%
Chicago Cubs+20004.8%
St. Louis Cardinals+20004.8%

This hypothetical MLB betting market is for entertainment purposes only and does not reflect any market that may be available on betting sites and betting apps.

There aren’t many teams out there that wouldn’t have “add No. 1 starter” on their off-season goals. The question is, how much can one afford? Yamamoto won’t come cheap. The belief among MLB insiders is he’ll be offered as much as $300 million in a long term contract. 

7-9 years and $210-$250 million. So we’re talking upwards of $30 million annually. 

The New York Mets have made it clear they want Yamamoto. They found great success with fellow Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga, who went 12-7 with a 2.98 ERA in his rookie 2023 season. Yamamoto is considered even better. The Mets have funds if they choose to spend them, and their success with Senga is presumably a nice recruiting tool. 

Mets owner Steve Cohen flew to Japan last week to meet with Yamamoto, showing a level of commitment that might land them the No. 2 prize in free agency. 

RELATED: Shohei Ohtani Next Team Odds

The New York Yankees are expecting to make a major bid for Yamamoto. The Bombers lose Luis Severino and Frankie Montas and have questions everywhere in the rotation below Gerrit Cole. One MLB insider says he expected the Yankees will “blow away the field” for Yamamoto’s services. 

With the MLB winter meetings set for Nashville in early December, there is belief in MLB circles that the Mets and Yankees will be bent on out-bidding one another, leaving other teams in the dust. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers aren't often outbid, however, and are in need of a younger, top-tier ace. Yamamoto reportedly would prefer to play in a large market, and many Japanese and Korean players have understandably focused on West Coast locations. They just spent $700 on Ohtani, but much of that money was deferred, allowing L.A. to stay in the market for top-tier players. They're also strongly in the market for an ace. With rumors dwindling that Corbin Burnes could be coming to L.A., the Dodgers could shift their focus here. 

One MLB insider said recently the Mets, Yankees and Dodgers are by far the top contenders, "and I have a hard time believing it'll be anyone else." 

The Boston Red Sox are desperate to become a contender again, especially after finishing an embarrassing dead-last in the competitive AL East. Boston has money to spend, and Yamamoto is strongly on their radar to be the centerpiece of a revamped rotation. The Sox also have an ace in the hole, in Yamamoto friend in OF Masatake Yoshida, who they signed last year and had a successful first seasin in Beantown. 

The Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants are each looking to improve their rotations, and after missing out on Ohtani have money to spend. Keeping up with the New York teams is a tall task, but not impossible. 

The St. Louis Cardinals could be the dark horse in the Yamamoto sweepstakes. The Cards have a wealth of intertwining connections that could make the move more comforting for the import. St. Louis’ long history of success could be enticing as well. They just inked Sonny Gray, who finished No. 2 in AL Cy Young Award voting last season, which may dampen their drive to get Yamamoto. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.