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

While the Red Sox might be out of the running for Shohei Ohtani, they still have their eyes on Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

The expectation for the top pitcher is that he will sign after Ohtani makes his decision and, at the moment, he reportedly is one of Boston’s “top priorities,” according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

If that’s the case, it’ll come at a hefty price tag.

“I’m now hearing that Yamamoto could get $300 million,” The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported on Tuesday. “That is something to behold. A free-agent starter usually does not go there. Gerrit Cole got $324 million. That is a record — we’ve seen other guys get $200 million, obviously [Stephen] Strasburg got $245 — that didn’t exactly work out, but Cole has, he’s a Cy Young winner; we will see if [Blake] Snell gets $200 million, but it does feel like at this point that Yamamoto is so popular, every big market team — the Phillies, who don’t really even need a pitcher, are looking at Yamamoto …”

The popularity has the Mets, Giants and the Yankees also in on the right-handed pitcher.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone even confirmed the team plans to meet with Yamamoto during the recruitment process, adding he would look great in the pinstripes.

And rightfully so.

The 25-year-old boasted a 1.72 ERA across seven seasons with Nippon Professional Baseball. Tallying 986 strikeouts in 967 and 2/3 innings. In 2023 alone he possessed an 0.88 WHIP in 23 starts for the Orix Buffaloes.

His scouting reports have noted his power, feel, aptitude, and the deceptive way he pitches.

[Jon Morosi/Twitter]

About Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jess is a baseball fan with Reno, Nev. roots residing in the Bay Area. She is the host of "Short and to the Point" and is also a broadcaster with the Oakland A's Radio Network. She previously worked for MLB.com and NBC Sports Bay Area.