As Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto prepares to make the jump to MLB, there has been no shortage of interested teams. But even with ample competition, the San Francisco Giants are looking to win the Yamamoto sweepstakes.
San Francisco has been gaining momentum as Yamamoto's eventual destination, via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Teams around the league believe the Giants might have an edge in negotiations.
The Giants are entering the Winter Meetings with the 13th-highest payroll in baseball at almost $135 million. San Francisco has proven their willing to spend. While they didn't land Aaron Judge or Carlos Correa, the Giants were heavily involved during both of their free agencies. Perhaps Yamamoto has become San Fran's latest white whale.
Logan Webb represented the Giants as a finalist for the NL Cy Young. San Francisco as a whole ended the year with the 11th-best ERA (4.02) in the league. However, after missing the playoffs, the Giants are looking for yet another added element in their pitching staff.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto would certainly provide that. Over his seven years in NPB, Yamamoto pitched to a 75-30 record with a 1.72 ERA and a 986/216 K/BB ratio. He's a three-time Pacific League MVP, Triple Crown and Sawamura Award – Japan's equivalent of the Cy Young winner.
Any team Yamamoto signs with will be getting a massive boost in the pitching department. After missing out on free agent ventures in the past, the Giants are now looking to make a splash with the right-hander. While they'll have plenty of competition, many believe San Francisco is the team to beat.