The intense rivalry between two of MLB’s major-market teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees, seems to be reaching new heights. The Dodgers have recently overtaken the Yankees as the most-followed MLB team on Instagram, largely due to their acquisition of Shohei Ohtani, one of the most marketable baseball players in history. However, this rivalry goes beyond social media. Both teams are now fiercely competing to sign the hottest name on the free-agent starting pitcher market, Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
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The latest update on the Yamamoto sweepstakes, as reported by Jon Heyman of the New York Post, suggests that it’s becoming a neck-and-neck race between the Dodgers and the Yankees to secure the services of the 25-year-old Japanese international.
Speculation is rife that Yamamoto desires a grand stage for his talents, and currently, the Yankees and the Dodgers are considered co-favorites for his signature. Heyman discussed this on MLB Network Hot Stove, posing an intriguing question: Does Yamamoto want to share the spotlight with Ohtani in Los Angeles, or would he prefer to be the center of attention, even in New York, a market known for its intensity?
Ultimately, the decision comes down to Yamamoto’s personal preference. The Yankees have a history of attracting high-profile Japanese players, but the presence of Shohei Ohtani in Los Angeles might offer Yamamoto a smoother transition to the MLB.
However, it’s worth noting that aside from the Dodgers and the Yankees, five other teams are also in contention. The New York Mets and San Francisco Giants have already met with Yamamoto, and the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and Toronto Blue Jays are scheduled to have meetings with him soon.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s track record of consistency in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, coupled with his relatively young age compared to other free agents, makes him an enticing prospect for many MLB teams eager to bolster their rosters. The competition for his talents remains fierce, and the baseball world eagerly awaits his decision.