Title: Yoshinobu Yamamoto Chooses Dodgers over Yankees and Mets in Record-Breaking Deal
In a stunning turn of events, Japanese free-agent right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto has signed a historic 12-year, $325 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The New York Yankees and New York Mets were also in the running, but the Dodgers ultimately sealed the deal with an impressive offer.
The Yankees went to great lengths to secure Yamamoto’s services, offering a higher average annual value, an earlier opt-out, and even more money in the first five years compared to the Dodgers. However, their efforts fell short as Yamamoto chose to don the Dodger blue.
Surprisingly, the Mets came forward with a similar proposal, suggesting a 12-year, $325 million contract of their own. Unfortunately, details regarding the Mets’ offer remain undisclosed, leaving fans curious about how close they came to landing the coveted pitcher.
The Yankees’ bid included a 10-year, $300 million deal, with an annual average value of $30 million, surpassing the Dodgers’ slightly lower offer of $27.08 million. Additionally, the Yankees were ready to commit nearly $200 million over five years, which included a posting fee to Yamamoto’s Japanese club.
Despite the Yankees’ aggressive pursuit, they did not offer a record-breaking total value for a pitcher or a signing bonus of $50 million. In an interesting twist, however, Yamamoto can potentially avoid paying California tax on the signing bonus if he declares himself a nonresident of the state.
The Dodgers sweetened the pot by agreeing to pay the entire signing bonus in 2024, a strategic move that could potentially save Yamamoto a hefty sum of $7.2 million in taxes.
Yamamoto’s decision to join the Dodgers has drawn comparisons to Shohei Ohtani’s choice to join the same team despite other clubs making similar offers. It seems that Yamamoto, like Ohtani, may have a preference for a specific team, extending beyond monetary factors and contractual offers.
With Yamamoto now joining the Dodgers, the team’s pitching rotation instantly receives a major boost, making them formidable contenders for future seasons. While Yankees and Mets fans may be disappointed, they can take solace in knowing that their organizations put up a strong fight to secure the talented pitcher’s services.
As the 2022 MLB season approaches, all eyes will be on Yamamoto as he steps onto the mound in Dodger Stadium, ready to carve his name into baseball history and prove his decision was the right one.
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