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Yankees lose Yoshinobu Yamamoto bidding war to Dodgers

No. 18 will not be worn by Yamamoto in New York.

MiLB: AUG 24 - Florida Complex League - Pirates at Yankees
Hal: “Welp.”
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Less than two weeks after signing megastar Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Dodgers have done it again. For Yankees fans, it hurt less then because they were never really involved in the Ohtani negotiations, as he didn’t seem particularly interested in coming to New York.

But Yoshinobu Yamamoto? There was a mutual interest from the job, and the Yankees made no secret of their interest in the three-time defending NPB MVP. General manager Brian Cashman was even in attendance at the ace’s no-hitter this past season. Once Yamamoto got posted, it was clear that the Yankees were going to be in the mix.

The war is over. Yamamoto won’t be going across town to Queens, but he won’t be pitching in the Bronx, either. The Yankees have lost, and the Dodgers have signed Yamamoto. YES Network’s Jack Curry had the initial report, and Jon Heyman confirmed the death knell.

Per Jeff Passan, Yamamoto is signing a 12-year, $325 million deal with LA, a new record for a player new to MLB. SNY’s Andy Martino said that New York topped out at 10 years, $300 million, though the Mets matched the Dodgers’ bid. If that’s true, then it’s a disappointment that the Yankees weren’t willing to make the best offer out there (yes, years matter).

The Yankees really needed a pitcher like Yamamoto to give Cy Young Award winner an assist in the rotation. The offense was the primary culprit for their stumble to 82 victories, but the only player outside of Cole to make more than 20 starts was the so-so Clarke Schmidt. Free agent addition Carlos Rodón got hurt, 2022 All-Star Nestor Cortes was ineffective and injured, and Luis Severino imploded in his Bronx swan song.

The answer will not be coming from Yamamoto. Now, they’ll have to pick up the pieces and look elsewhere to help out Cole in 2024. Juan Soto was a much-needed addition as well, but even if the lineup improves, they need more bodies to pitch with their depth depleted following the deal to get him. We’ll just have to buckle up and see how Yankees respond.