Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto is officially a free agent in the MLB since this Monday, the day he became eligible for the 30 organizations that make up it, with the New York Yankees and Mets being the favorites to sign him.
The starter now has 45 days to negotiate with a Major League team the contract for 200 million dollars that would make him the pitcher of his country with the best agreement in the history of the instance.
If the deadlines are met, Yamamoto will sign with a big tent team on January 4.
“He auction system allows Japanese clubs to tender their best players before they complete nine seasons and become free agents. Currently, the 30 MLB clubs have 45 days to try to reach an agreement with the player after being placed up for auction by his team in Japan. If an agreement is not reached within that period, the player remains with his original team and cannot be auctioned until the end of the following season,” explained Enrique Rojas, from ESPN
“If the player accepts an offer from MLB, then the Japanese team will be compensated depending on the guaranteed money in the player’s contract.”
Yamamoto posted a 1.21 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 23 starts this season, including a no-hitter in front of 15 MLB teams that came to see him in Japan. His numbers also made him the winner of the Sawamura Award (equivalent to the Cy Young in the MLB) for the third consecutive season, making history by being only the second pitcher to achieve this.