Prized Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is narrowing his field to finalists. Are the Red Sox still in the hunt?

Prized Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is narrowing his field to finalists. Are the Red Sox still in the hunt?

The Times quoted a person who knew about the deal but wasn’t allowed to talk about it in public.

ESPN also quoted unknown sources saying that the Dodgers beat out a lot of other teams to get the 25-year-old star.

Aaron Boone, the manager of the New York Yankees, said earlier Thursday that he had given Yamamoto a No. 18 Yankees shirt as part of the team’s effort to get him to move to the Bronx.

The San Francisco Giants, the Philadelphia Phillies, while the Boston Red Sox are also said to have met with Yamamoto.

But Yamamoto is said to be going to Los Angeles to meet up with his famous countryman Shohei Ohtani.

This season, Ohtani won a unanimous vote for a second American League Player of the Year Award.

He then left the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent and signed the biggest sports contract in North American history: a 10-year, $700 million deal.

In November, Yamamoto and Ohtani helped Japan win the World Baseball Classic. For the third year in a row, Yamamoto was named Japan’s Pacific League MVP.

He was the best pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball for three years in a row, winning the league in wins, easy run average, and strikeouts.

Yamamoto pitched a full game with 14 strikeouts on 138 pitches, which turned out to be his last NPB start. He helped the Orix Buffaloes win game six of the Japan Series.

The Buffaloes lost the series in the end to the Hanshin Tigers. On November 20, the Tigers officially released Yamamoto, which meant he could sign with any Major League Baseball team.

The hot stove has been slowly boiling with a few moves here and there. It will soon boil over because that’s what happens when winter meetings are coming up in just one week.

With new chief baseball manager Craig Breslow in charge, the Red Sox have one clear story to follow over the next two weeks: will they be able to sign the most interesting starting pitcher upon the free agent market?

A right-handed Japanese pitcher named Yoshinobu Yamamoto was picked up by the Orix Buffaloes for Nippon Professional Baseball last week. Mark Feinsand of ranks Yamamoto as the second best free agent this summer.

A year ago, the Sox were able to sign left fielder Masataka Yoshida, who was posted as a free agent by the Buffaloes.

In reality, though, Yamamoto will look at a lot of things before choosing where he is interested in playing. Yoshida’s presence will be just one of them.

The fact that Yamamoto has a friend at Yoshida who can help him fit in might help Breslow and Boston’s front office get the skilled pitcher that they want.

Andy Martino of SNY says that in the next few days, Yamamoto and his reps will speak with all interested teams by phone and Zoom meeting.

When the field is down to a few teams, Yamamoto will fly to the US to meet with the teams he thinks deserve to win.

As things stand, those face-to-face talks will happen in the days after the Winter talks, which take place in Nashville, Tenn., from Dec. 4–6.

Yamamoto’s agent, Joel Wolfe, told Japanese reporters last week, “This is by far the player with most interested teams which I have ever seen at the start of free agency.”

“You have one of the best young pitchers at the world who is only 25 years old. It’s what we call a perfect storm.” It spans generations. Once every 10 to 15 years, something like this takes place.

A top-notch starting pitcher or two is something the Red Sox really need. It’s clear that Breslow wants to improve the team’s pitching in both internal and external ways.