May 30, 2024

Philadelphia Phillies Should Not Be Counted Out of Yamamoto Sweepstakes

With the seven-year, $172 million contract that Aaron Nola signed, the Philadelphia Phillies may have finished building their rotation. Now, though, rumors suggest that the Phillies will keep looking for elite players if doing so will help them improve.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is thought to be the best free agent arm currently available. Once he joins the Big Leagues, the 25-year-old Japanese player is thought to have a chance to be one of the better arms in Major League Baseball. Yamamoto pitched 164 innings in the NBL in 2023, striking out 169 batters with a 1.21 ERA.

MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki previews Philadelphia’s objectives for the Winter Meetings. Regarding Yamamoto, he mentioned that the team is still in the race.

“The Phillies’ rotation is arguably set with Zack Wheeler, Nola, Ranger Suárez, Walker and Cristopher Sánchez, although it could use at least another starter to boost their depth,” says Zolecki.

“There are numerous reasons why the Phillies won’t sign a frontline starter like Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but sources tell MLB.com that Nola’s contract does not prevent them from doing so. Most importantly, in order to make room for a contract that might cost more than $200 million, the Phillies would need to free up a sizable portion of their payroll elsewhere.”

The Phillies would have to deal with payroll issues if they signed Yamamoto, as Zolecki pointed out. The front office has shown over the previous few offseasons that they have no problem spending cash. If they can get an ace-caliber arm in Yoshinobu, that won’t alter.

However, he would elevate the Phillies to the pinnacle of baseball.

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