The market for one of the Giants' top free-agent targets soon could heat up.
ESPN's Buster Olney reported Friday, citing a source, that Japanese right-handed pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is expected to be posted and available to MLB teams on Monday, opening his 45-day window to sign with a club.
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If Yamamoto is posted Monday, that means he will have to sign with a team by Jan. 4 at the latest, or else he will return to the Orix Buffaloes in the Nippon Professional Baseball league.
Yamamoto is one of the most highly sought-after free agents on the market this offseason after posting a 16-6 record with a microscopic 1.21 ERA and 169 strikeouts to 28 walks in 164 innings pitched with the Buffaloes in the NPB this season.
As one of the best free-agent pitchers, some believe Yamamoto could land a $200-plus million contract with a MLB team this offseason, and the Giants are expected to be one of the many potential suitors.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and general manager Pete Putila even traveled to Japan to scout Yamamoto ahead of free agency, with Zaidi lauding the Japanese ace as "one of the top starting pitchers in the world" in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area.
San Francisco Giants
It's only a matter of time -- 45 days to be exact -- before we find out where the 25-year-old ace will begin his MLB career.