The Giants are shopping at the top of the MLB free-agent market this offseason and appear ready to spend big this winter.
San Francisco reportedly is devoting its whole "heart" and finances to landing either two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani or Japanese starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto and while it remains unclear how much Ohtani will cost, MLB teams might have an idea what it will take to land his fellow countryman.
There was a belief that Yamamoto could land a $200 million contract this offseason, but ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Friday, citing officials who plan on pursuing Yamamoto, that the once-perceived ceiling might actually be the floor in contract negotiations for the 25-year-old.
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"The price for Yamamoto, officials who plan on pursuing the pitcher told ESPN, seems to be growing by the day," Passan wrote. "Multiple executives said the floor will be $200 million. Others said the cost of his contract could be in excess of $250 million -- which would mean another $39.38 million as a posting fee paid to the Orix Buffaloes, with whom Yamamoto has won three consecutive league MVP and Sawamura Awards."
Passan adds that the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are among the favorites for Yamamoto, with the Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies in the mix as well.
In seven NPB seasons with the Orix Buffaloes, Yamamoto has a career line of 70-29 with a 1.82 ERA in 897 innings pitched with 922 strikeouts to 206 walks. Fresh off a 2023 season in which he posted a 16-6 record with a microscopic 1.21 ERA in 164 innings pitched, Yamamoto headlines a free-agent pitching class that includes the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner in Blake Snell.
Passan also confirmed SNY's Andy Martino's report that Yamamoto will begin meeting with teams in person after the MLB Winter Meetings end on Dec. 7.
San Francisco Giants
While it remains to be seen where Yamamoto will land, it's becoming clear how much he could cost whichever team is fortunate enough to land him this offseason.