MIAMI, FL - MARCH 20: Yoshinobu Yamamoto #18 of Team Japan pitches during the 2023 World Baseball Classic Semifinal game against Team Mexico at loanDepot Park on Monday, March 20, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

Yankees Are Meeting With the Top International Free Agent on Monday

The New York Yankees have been busy. Outside of trading for Alex Verdugo, they've also landed Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres. That's not all, though. General manager Brian Cashman is in pursuit of a significant upgrade for his starting rotation, and he wants free agent hurler Yoshinobu Yamamoto to fill the spot.

While it would've been cool to see him and other elite free agents agree to deals during the winter meetings in Nashville, it's taking a little longer for the top of the market to move.

Yamamoto is currently in Japan, but he'll be coming to the United States to meet face-to-face with interested teams. The hurler will be hopping on a plane to begin that free agency tour within the next few days. One of his stops will be with the Yankees and is expected to happen Monday, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi.

Many MLB teams have shown interest in Yamamoto at some point over the past year. But with his contract possibly approaching $300 million, as reported by Jon Heyman of the New York Post, only a small handful of teams are legitimately still in the running.

Morosi notes in the above post that the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs are all serious suitors in the Yamamoto sweepstakes. He didn't mention the New York Mets, but they're also very firmly in play and have been connected to the hurler this winter. Yamamoto's camp will likely meet with the Mets during his upcoming trip. However, Will Sammon of The Athletic reported that team owner Steve Cohen showed some initiative by meeting him in Japan last week.

The Yankees are fresh off an 82-80 campaign in 2023. While the year didn't end with a losing record, it was one of New York's worst team performances in the past three decades. It looks as if Cashman and team owner Hal Steinbrenner don't want a repeat of that in 2024.

If they're able to also sign Yamamoto in addition to their recent trades, expectations will once again be sky-high in the Bronx entering next season.

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