The SF Giants have quietly had their eyes on star NPB pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto and expect to be firm players for him this winter. The interest appears real as FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray believes that Yamamoto will land in San Francisco this offseason.
MLB insider predicts that the SF Giants will sign star NPB pitcher
In the latest Baseball Insiders podcast, Murray along with Adam Weinrib discuss a number of topics, including Yamamoto. Murray says that the Giants have had their sights on him all along and that he will land in San Francisco:
"I believe that [Yoshinobu] Yamamoto is a player that the Giants want and I’m going to predict that’s where he ends up going."- Robert Murray
There are several related sound bites with this as well. Murray suggests that Yamamoto's next contract should exceed $200 million and he reiterates the Giants' desire in the pitcher by stating that many of their top executives have scouted him lately. Farhan Zaidi even put his managerial search on hold to attend a recent game.
Of course, it takes two to work out a contract. Yamamoto has put together an impressive career in the NPB, posting a 1.82 ERA, 9.3 K/9, and a 4.48 SO/W ratio across seven seasons. This includes an excellent 2023 campaign in which the righty tallied a 1.21 ERA in 21 outings for the Orix Buffaloes.
He will certainly be in demand, especially from the big-market teams who have the spending power to get a deal done. If the Giants do end up landing him, they will be in an unusual position of winning a bidding war.
Yamamoto would be an interesting addition for any team. He just completed his age-24 season, meaning that he likely has a lot of peak years ahead. If he signs for a deal of $200 million, it would like be a contract of more than five years that also gives him a chance to opt out down the road.
The Giants are looking for ways to get younger and free agency is not usually a channel to achieve that end. However, he would be on the younger side of the Giants' staff that is expected to be anchored by Logan Webb, Alex Cobb, and Kyle Harrison. The Giants need to get younger and this is one way to do so. Nevertheless, it will come down to who can make the most compelling offer for Yamamoto.