Japanese star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto joining Dodgers on record deal, reports say

The Dodgers have now committed more than $1 billion in contracts to land the top two free agents of this offseason

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Yoshinobu Yamamoto is teaming up with Shohei Ohtani.

The Japanese star pitcher has reached a 12-year, $325 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple reports on Thursday night. The massive contract reportedly contains a $50 million signing bonus and no deferred money.

It's the largest deal in terms of total money for a pitcher in MLB history, topping the nine-year, $324 million contract Gerrit Cole signed with the New York Yankees ahead of the 2020 season.

The Dodgers have now committed more than $1 billion in contracts to land the top two players in free agency. They lured Ohtani away from the Los Angeles Angeles with a record-smashing 10-year, $700 million contract (with $680 million in deferred money). Less than two weeks later, they've made another big-time financial commitment to bring in Yamamoto.

In between those free-agent splashes, Los Angeles also acquired ace Tyler Glasnow from the Tampa Bay Rays and gave him a five-year, $135 million extension.

Yamamoto has been one of the most coveted pieces in free agency since he was posted by MLB in November. The 25-year-old played for Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) side Orix Buffaloes in Japan. He made his debut with the team in 2017 and has since ascended to stardom.

He also represents the Japan national team, with whom he made his first appearance for in 2019 before becoming a regular. He, along with Ohtani, played a vital role in helping Japan win the 2023 World Baseball Classic final versus Team USA.

Here are five things to know about Japanese star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Through the 2023 NPB season, Yamamoto has a win-loss record of 70-29, a 1.82 ERA and 922 strikeouts. He won the Pacific League MVP in 2021 and 2022, earned five All-Star nods and also won the Japan Series -- the World Series equivalent in NPB -- in 2022, among other accolades.

Yamamoto has a fastball, curveball, splitter and cutter in his arsenal, with his fastball recording an average speed of 95 mph.

The entire league could've benefited from a player of Yamamoto's quality, with teams like the Yankees, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets among those linked heavily in rumors throughout the process.

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