Star Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto has his eyes set on making a big splash in Major League Baseball next season.
Yamamoto has a strong interest in pitching for a big-market MLB team, sources told The Athletic’s Will Sammon.
The 25-year-old is expected to be one of the most coveted free-agent starting pitchers available on the market this offseason.
Yamamoto dominated the competition in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league this past season. He posted a 17-6 record with a sparkling 1.16 ERA and 176 strikeouts in 171 innings for the Orix Buffaloes.
The New York Mets could emerge as a possible suitor for Yamamoto. Mets right-hander and Japanese native Kodai Senga expressed support to team management about the prospect of signing Yamamoto, sources told Sammon.
Senga enjoyed a terrific rookie season for the Mets after coming over from Japan on a five-year, $75-million contract. The 30-year-old registered a 2.98 ERA with 10.93 K/9 across 166 1/3 innings in 2023.