Everyone knew that the Orix Buffaloes were going to post Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
That became official on Sunday. The Buffaloes announced that they have approved posting Yamamoto for interested major league teams. The next step in the process is the formal declaration of a posting window, something that Jon Morosi from MLB Network believes will happen in the next few days. At that point, teams will have 45 days to sign Yamamoto before his posting window closes.
Let the bidding war for Yoshinobu Yamamoto begin
It is a certainty that he is coming stateside. Yamamoto has nothing left to prove in Japan, having established himself as one of the best pitchers in Nippon Professional Baseball. He has posted an absurd 1.42 ERA with 580 strikeouts and just 110 walks in his 557.2 innings over the past three years. That performance led to Yamamoto winning the Sawamura Award in each of those years. He even managed to quiet concerns about his postseason performance with a dominant showing in Game Six of the Japan Series.
Yamamoto is also set to trigger a bidding war. He is considered to be a full grade better than Kodai Senga, who received a five year deal worth $75 million from the Mets. Yamamoto is also five years younger than Senga and has a more overpowering arsenal. The Yankees have reportedly made him their top priority this offseason. They are hardly alone in their pursuit of the Japanese righty.
The battle for his services is understandable. Yamamoto is one of the best pitchers to come over from Japan based on his stuff and track record. Whether or not that translates to the majors remains to be seen, but he is well worth his price tag.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto is officially heading stateside. The Orix Buffaloes have begun the posting process to make him available.