Friday, April 19 2024

Report: Yamamoto, Giants met Sunday amid pitcher’s free-agency tour originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Having swung and missed on Shohei Ohtani, the Giants now turn their attention to another Japanese star that is high atop their MLB free-agency wish list.

San Francisco met with right-handed pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto on Sunday, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Monday, citing a source, as the sought-after talent attracts plenty of attention from teams league-wide.

The meeting comes as other teams court Yamamoto, including the New York Yankees, who are meeting with the pitcher Monday, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported. The bidding to sign Yamamoto could reach as high as $300 million, per Heyman, who also reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets are seen as “big players” in the sweepstakes.

The Giants heavily scouted Yamamoto leading up to his posting last month, with president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi flying to Japan this fall in the midst of his search for a new manager. On “Giants Talk” in early October, Zaidi called the Yamamoto “one of the top starting pitchers in the world.”

The 25-year-old posted a 1.82 ERA over 897 innings with Nippon Professional Baseball’s Orix Buffaloes, and had eye-popping numbers in strikeout rate (26.43 percent), walk rate (5.9 percent) and home run rate (1.03 percent).

One of the Giants’ biggest offseason needs is a co-ace for Logan Webb, and Yamamoto certainly fits the bill. But San Francisco isn’t alone in its interest, and there is some stiff competition for his services.

It begs the age-old question, though: The Giants know who they want to sign, but can they pull it off? As San Francisco’s fan base reels from Ohtani joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, it certainly hopes so.

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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