Yoshinobu Yamamoto Aug 4, 2021; Yokohama, Japan; Team Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (17) throws a pitch against Korea in a baseball semifinal match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Yokohama Baseball Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Japanese starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is drawing significant interest from a number of teams in free agency. And one MLB insider believes that he could receive more money than originally anticipated.

Yamamoto comes to the MLB with perhaps the highest expectations we have seen for a pitcher in quite some time. The 25-year-old sensation is a three-time Triple Crown winner for the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization.

This hype is expected to earn Yamamoto a potentially historic payday. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, MLB executives are expecting the team that signs Yamamoto to spend as much as $300 million, including the posting fee to the Orix Buffaloes.

Some of the teams that are reportedly interested in signing Yamamoto are the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Philadelhia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Detroit Tigers.

If Heyman’s prediction of $300 million does end up being the number for Yamamoto, it is on paper a pretty startling number.

Yamamoto has obviously shown his skills in Japan, but he has yet to ever even step foot in an MLB stadium as a player yet.

In comparison, Yankees star pitcher Gerrit Cole, one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, received a $324 million in free agency. And he was already proven to be an ace at the MLB level at the time.

We have seen international pitchers struggle with the transition to the MLB level fairly recently. Shintaro Fujinami received a pretty large contract from the Oakland Athletics last offseason, only to be traded from the organization later this past season after some serious struggles early on in the season.

This isn’t to say that Yamamoto won’t be great for whoever signs him. But the number he is likely to receive is certainly that of an All-Star level player right away.

[New York Post]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.