Up until early December, when Yoshinobu Yamamoto, 25, the best pitcher of the Japanese professional baseball league, declared his bid to the Major League, the New York Mets was considered the frontrunner. Steve Cohen, 67, the owner of the New York Mets, who is also known as a billionaire, flew to Japan even at an advanced age to persuade Yamamoto. However, after returning to the U.S., the team made a fatal mistake that ruined its efforts in the negotiations that resumed.
Dodger Blue, a U.S. media outlet that mainly deals with the news of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said on the 24th (Korea time), “Yamamoto preferred to sign with the Dodgers and be Shohei Ohtani’s teammate.”
Many U.S. media outlets including MLB.com and ESPN reported on Sunday that Yamamoto signed a 12-year contract worth a total of 325 million U.S. dollars with the Dodgers. The deal broke the record for the highest amount and longest contract for a pitcher in the Major League Baseball. The previous highest contract for a pitcher was Garrett Cole’s three-year, 324 million dollars in 2020 with the New York Yankees, and the longest contract for a pitcher was Wayne Garland’s three-year, 2.3 million dollars in 1977 with the Cleveland Indians (now the Cleveland Guardians). In addition, as Yamamoto enters the Major League through a posting system (closed competitive bid), the Dodgers will pay 50.6 million dollars in compensation to its original team, the Orix Buffaloes.랭크카지노
Initially, the Dodgers were not the frontrunner in the race to recruit Yamamoto. In particular, after signing a 10-year, 700 million-dollar FA contract with Ohtani, the largest professional sports contract in North America, on the 10th, it was expected that it would not be easy to pounce due to the liquidity of payrolls. As Ohtani signed an unprecedented 97 percent deferral contract, the amount to be used in calculating luxury taxes was reduced from 70 million dollars per year to 46 million dollars. However, it was also true that the amount alone was the highest in the history of the Major League and was burdensome to recruit Yamamoto, who is valued at more than 300 million dollars.
Above all, aggressive investments by teams that lost Ohtani to the Dodgers prevented them from guaranteeing victory. Several prestigious teams, including the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, the San Francisco Giants, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies, have been confirmed to have offered at least $300 million, with two New York teams competing for the frontrunner.
However, the fate of the three teams was decided in a last-minute strategy that took place this week. The Dodgers captivated Yamamoto with both money and storylines. First of all, the team was ahead of the Yankees in terms of actual amount and symbolism. The Yankees offered Yamamoto a 10-year, 300 million U.S. dollars that includes an opt-out five years later. The annual average of 30 million dollars without the amount of deferral, which was higher than that of the Dodgers, which was 27.8 million dollars per year. By offering a higher annual average than the Dodgers, Cole, the team’s ace, had to keep his pride as he did not exceed the total contract amount (324 million dollars for nine years).
On the other hand, the Dodgers eagerly paid 325 million dollars for 12 years, which included two opt-out conditions six years later and nine years later, to Yamamoto’s pride and practical benefits. As Cole, who holds the highest FA record in Major League history, broke his contract by 1 million dollars, he also gave him two opt-outs to build his pride.
It also provided practical benefits such as setting the down payment at 50 million U.S. dollars to avoid paying notorious California taxes. “According to Robert Raiola, a certified public accountant of PFK, Yamamoto does not pay tax on the down payment if he does not live in California,” the U.S. media outlet The Athletic said. “Dodgers will pay Yamamoto the full down payment in 2024, and the tax savings will reach 7.2 million dollars.”
The Mets, who were the first to offer a total of $325 million, won with a story while pinpointing exactly what Yamamoto wanted. It was not that the Mets lacked sincerity. According to New York local media SNY, Cohen’s owner flew from New York to Tokyo with New York Mets President David Stearns for 14 hours on the 9th, met Yamamoto, his mother, and Hiro Fujiwara, an interpreter of Senga Godai, and returned after eating French-Japanese cuisine. With these efforts, in the U.S., including SNY, the Mets were evaluated as having at least tied the Yankees in competition.
However, the Mets made a fatal choice at the last minute. “The Mets tried to make a negative use of playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers with Ohtani in negotiations with Yamamoto,” Dodger Blue said. “According to one source, the Mets convinced Yamamoto that he could establish his own identity on the East Coast without having to stay in the shadow of Ohtani in LA.”
The Mets intended to raise Yamamoto’s pride and competitiveness as a player, but the problem was that Yamamoto was a fan of Ohtani, who is well known in Japan. According to Dodger Blue, Yamamoto grew up a fan of the Dodgers from an early age. On the contrary, the Dodgers brought Ohtani to the negotiation table with Yamamoto immediately after recruiting him with a bold investment, which could attract Yamamoto. It was a loss to the Mets, who couldn’t read their minds.