Yoshinobu Yamamoto is arguably the most sought-after starting pitcher in this free agency class who will pitch in 2024 (sorry, Shohei Ohtani). Yamamoto is just 25 years old and has won three consecutive Sawamura Awards. The Sawamura Award is the NPB's version of the Cy Young.
Signing Yamamoto would help begin a much-needed transformation for this Red Sox rotation. They'd be adding a legitimate ace after rostering one of the worst rotations in baseball last season. Not only would Yamamoto provide a huge boost in 2024, but considering his age he'd be around or just past the prime of his career by the time his lengthy contract expires.
As badly as Boston needs and wants this talented right-hander, several other big market teams are expected to be in on him. He'll likely make over $200 million with his contract, and could easily spurn Boston for another team eager to land him. One of the teams Boston was set to compete with was the New York Yankees, but this latest update could knock them out of the running, or at least give the Red Sox a nice leg up early on.
Red Sox might be able to steal Yoshinobu Yamamoto away from the Yankees with this latest update
While most Japanese players often prefer to play on a team without another player from Japan, Yamamoto seems eager to join forces with a player from his home country. A team like the Yankees can't see this news as positive, as they currently roster a team with no Japanese players. The Red Sox, however, are a team that rosters one of the best in Masataka Yoshida.
Yoshida debuted with Boston this past season after signing a five-year deal. Considering how well he played particularly offensively, he's going to be in Beantown for a while. Yoshida had an excellent season finishing sixth in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting, and finished it off by complimenting the Red Sox fans and going on about how much he enjoys playing at Fenway Park. Perhaps he can help recruit Yamamoto to join him at that same ballpark in front of those fans.
Shohei Ohtani is obviously priority one, but Yamamoto shouldn't be far behind. The Red Sox desperately need an ace, and finding one who is just 25 years old would be an awesome way for Craig Breslow to endear himself to the Red Sox fanbase. Stealing him away from the Yankees would just be the icing on the cake.