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Dodgers Sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto To 12-Year Deal

Dodgers Sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto To 12-Year Deal

TODAY: The Dodgers officially announced Yamamoto’s signing.  In the team press release, Yamamoto said “I’d like to thank everyone in the Orix organization, the Dodger organization and all the people close to me who have given me so much support throughout this free-agent process.  I am truly excited to wear Dodger Blue and can’t wait to play in front of a packed Dodger Stadium.”

Dec. 22: Yamamoto’s opt-outs are after the 2029 and 2031 seasons, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. While the contract doesn’t contain any deferrals, it is backloaded in nature, as is common with long-term deals. Yamamoto, then, would be leaving the highest salaries of his contract on the table if he opts out and reenters free agency.

Dec. 21: For the second time this month, the Dodgers have made a record-setting free agent strike. Los Angeles is reportedly in agreement with Yoshinobu Yamamoto on a 12-year, $325MM contract. The deal, which is pending a physical, includes a $50MM signing bonus for the Wasserman client and does not contain any deferred money. It comes with a near-$51MM posting fee to the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball, bringing the overall commitment north of $375MM.

The contract also contains a pair of opt-out opportunities. Specifics on that clause remain unknown, although SNY’s Andy Martino reported that Yamamoto’s camp had sought the ability to retest free agency after the fifth and eighth seasons.

Yamamoto has been the best pitcher in Japan for the past few seasons. The right-hander spent parts of seven years with the Buffaloes. By his age-20 campaign, he’d emerged as one of the top pitchers at the second-highest level of professional baseball in the world. Yamamoto turned in a 1.95 ERA that season, kicking off a run of five straight years allowing no more than 2.20 earned runs per nine.

That includes sub-2.00 ERA showings over his final trio of seasons. Yamamoto has won the Sawamura Award as Japan’s best pitcher in all three years. He worked to a 1.39 ERA over 193 2/3 innings in 2021, followed by a 1.68 mark in 193 frames the next season. Yamamoto somehow turned in an even better year in his final season, pitching to a microscopic 1.21 ERA through 168 frames.

Among NPB pitchers to reach 100 innings, Yamamoto’s ERA was more than half a run lower than anyone else’s. (Shoki Murakami finished second with a 1.75 mark in 144 1/3 frames). Only Shota Imanaga, who is also available to MLB teams this offseason via…

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