The New York Mets are one of many teams dreaming of adding Japanese phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto this offseason. Yamamoto makes the move to MLB after winning three straight Sawamura Awards (Japanese Cy Young). He has arguably received the most hype of any Japanese free agent not named Shohei Ohtani.
Yamamoto makes perfect sense for the Mets for a number of reasons. First, he doesn't have the qualifying offer attached to him. While the Mets would have to forfeit draft capital to land a free agent like NL Cy Young award winner Blake Snell, they would not have to do so with Yamamoto. That's a big deal for a Mets organization that has refused to pursue free agents with the QO attached in recent years.
Second, he's just 25 years old. Free agents are often around or over the age of 30, and Yamamoto is five years younger. Adding a young ace for nothing more than money just doesn't happen, and would be very exciting. Unfortunately, the Mets aren't the only team that sees the vision with Yamamoto who is expected to have a slew of teams interested in his services. The Mets should be considered one of the favorites, but there are three teams in particular that could look to steal him away.
1) New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a team looking to make a splash after finishing with their worst record in nearly 30 years. They don't appear to be in so heavily on Shohei Ohtani, and like the Mets, have their eyes set on Yamamoto.
The Yankees being in on Yamamoto is a bit curious after they landed a big prize last offseason for their rotation in Carlos Rodon, but you can never have enough pitching and Yamamoto is, of course, the crown jewel.
The Yankees could look to trade one of Clarke Schmidt or Michael King in a potential Juan Soto deal this offseason, clearing the path for Yamamoto to fill in. A rotation that consists of Gerrit Cole, Rodon, Yamamoto, Nestor Cortes Jr., and one of King or Schmidt would be one of, if not the best in the majors.
The Yankees have been linked to Yamamoto all year long, and Brian Cashman appears to be enamored with the right-hander. It wouldn't be surprising at all to see Yamamoto don the pinstripes.