Yankees' pitching splurge echoes in Yamamoto's free agency

Six years ago, the Yankees missed out on signing Shohei Ohtani due to his preference for a West Coast team.

Ohtani, now a free agent, is once again in the spotlight alongside another promising Japanese pitcher, Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Yamamoto, a 25-year-old right-handed pitcher, delivered three consecutive seasons in Japan with a sub-2.00 ERA, showcasing his talent.

In the latest season, Yamamoto's stellar performance included a record of 17 wins, 6 losses, a 1.16 ERA, and an impressive WHIP of 0.860 in 171 innings.

Comparisons are drawn between Yamamoto and the Yankees' last major Japanese signing, Masahiro Tanaka, who arrived with a significant contract a decade ago.

Potential contracts for Ohtani could exceed $500 million, even with him recovering from surgery in 2024. 

Both Tanaka and Yamamoto boast impressive resumes from their time in Japan, featuring a full range of pitches, including a splitter and a formidable curveball.

Despite his smaller stature at 5-foot-10 and 176 pounds, Yamamoto is seen as a valuable addition to the Yankees' pitching rotation.

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