Yoshinobu Yamamoto was introduced as a Los Angeles Dodger on Wednesday evening after agreeing to his 12-year, $325 million contract last week. He'll be the team's ace for the foreseeable future, with both Shohei Ohtani and current free agent Clayton Kershaw on the mend from injuries.
The right-hander expressed great gratitude in putting on a Dodgers uniform and told the world that he probably would've chosen Los Angeles regardless of the circumstances. Apparently, it's the team he's always dreamed playing for, and Ohtani's arrival had nothing to do with his.
That much was speculated upon by many MLB insiders, who believed Yamamoto "ultimately wanted to be a Dodger," even with the Yankees and Mets on his tail and making $300 million offers of their own.
The work is not done in LA, however. There are rumors about the Dodgers being involved in the markets of other high-profile free agents and trade targets. Yamamoto wasn't the first, and he won't be the last.
But first, the Dodgers need to clear roster space. In fact, when Yamamoto was signed, the 40-man roster was full. They didn't make room for him until right before his presser.
Dodgers make corresponding roster move after Yoshinobu Yamamoto signing
Goodbye to reliever Bryan Hudson, who many Dodgers fans speculated didn't have a key role with the 2024 team anyway. The controllable lefty was a nice story, however.
He made his MLB debut in 2023 after eight years as a professional. LA signed him last December and ended up utilizing him for 8.2 innings of work, most of which came in August. But he only posted one clean outing of his six total, and many have viewed him as a roster casualty should the Dodgers upgrade this offseason.
Hudson isn't alone, either. There are probably another six players that can get booted in favor of future impact additions.
And remember, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin will be transferred to the 60-day injured list when eligible, and that'll free up two more spots. But beyond that, there's much improvement to be made.
Ohtani and Yamamoto feel like the start of the snowball effect. Expect plenty more roster moves over the next month.