2) Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers seem to be all in on Shohei Ohtani, and have been considered the favorites to land him for months. While the Dodgers seemingly make the most sense for Ohtani, it's very possible they fail to seal the deal. If that's the case, Los Angeles turning their attention to Yamamoto makes a ton of sense.
The Dodgers won 100 games once again this past season, but were swept in the NLDS largely because of their starting pitching. Injuries played a huge role in that, but their starting pitching was nowhere near as good as it usually is.
Walker Buehler is expected to return after missing the entire 2023 season recovering from Tommy John Surgery, but that's not easy to rely on. The Dodgers have young arms with potential like Bobby Miller, Emmet Sheehan, and Ryan Pepiot, but they're far from proven. There's always the likely chance they bring Clayton Kershaw back for another year, but he's hurt and will miss time. Other arms like Tony Gonsollin and Dustin May will be out for the entire 2024 season as well.
It's hard to picture the Dodgers spending the money it'd take to land both Ohtani and Yamamoto, but if they do miss out on Shohei, focusing all of their efforts on the 25-year-old fireballer would make the most sense.