Plenty of MLB rumors are linking the New York Mets and New York Yankees to Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but one MLB insider thinks there could be a "preference" that will have to be overcome for those teams (or any from the East Coast) to land one of the prizes of the offseason.
MLB rumors: Yoshinobu Yamamoto prefers playing on West Coast?
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, Yamamoto may have "a preference" for playing on the West Coast, giving potential boosts to teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants over the Yankees and Mets.
That news may come as a good sign for teams such as the Dodgers, who are also linked to Shohei Ohtani as a potential landing spot for the Japanese superstar this offseason. Could Los Angeles potentially pull off the coup of recent offseasons by signing both Yamamoto and Ohtani to headline their roster?
So why all of the buzz about Yamamoto? Well, as CBSSports.com put it succinctly in this article, "Yamamoto is a five-time All-Star, a three-time ERA champion, and a two-time Triple Crown champion in NPB. Last year, he won the Pacific League's equivalents of the MVP and Cy Young Awards. He is, in our estimation, the best pitcher in the world to have never suited up for an MLB team."
Add in the fact that Yamamoto has done all of this and has just turned 25 and it's easy to see why an MLB team would be willing to wager much of its future and what he could bring to the rotation.
MLBTradeRumors.com predicts that Yamamoto will land a nine-year, $225 million deal this offseason, with one of its writers predicting the Giants will win the bidding war. The other MLBTR writers, however, believe the Yankees will sign him.
Will there be a coastal bias that comes into play with Yamamoto? The Dodgers and Giants are certainly hoping that's the case.