Dodgers’ reported offer for Yoshinobu Yamamoto doesn’t sound like it’s enough

While the Dodgers remain in the hunt for Yoshinobu Yamamoto, it doesn't sound like they are all-in on him just yet.
Dec 14, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Los Angeles Dodgers player Shohei Ohtani poses with Dodgers
Dec 14, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers player Shohei Ohtani poses with Dodgers / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of the perks of the contract that the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to with Shohei Ohtani is that it freed them up to continue to make moves this offseason. Not long after getting the deal done, they finalized a trade for Tyler Glasnow and gave him a five-year extension. Reasonable people can disagree on whether that was the right use of resources, but the elephant in the room has been whether or not the Dodgers could end up with Yoshinobu Yamamoto as well, after adding both Ohtani and Glasnow.

The Dodgers are clearly going for it at the moment. You don't sign Ohtani for $700 million no matter how and when he gets paid unless you are looking to make a stand. Likewise, Ohtani doesn't agree to that deal unless he expects the Dodgers to use the luxury tax savings to put a good team on the field. Given the state of the Dodgers' rotation right now, the smart money is on LA continuing to add more starting pitching.

However, there could be a limit to how much the Dodgers are willing to spend. If the most recent reports on how much the Dodgers are looking to offer Yamamoto are accurate, they could end up having to look elsewhere to bolster their rotation.

Dodgers' current plan to offer between $250 million and $300 million feels light

Any deal for a player that hasn't played in MLB before that is in excess of $200 million is pretty wild. Hell, most deals in general in the range are hard to comprehend and a lot of those deals don't end well. However, Yamamoto is a different animal altogether, as all of his stuff passes the eye test as a future ace. At 25 years old, whatever team that signs him is going to get a large portion of his prime.

While some of the contract expectations have tempered a bit in recent days, with Jeff Passan saying that the reported mega-offers Yamamoto has on the table aren't true just yet, the fact remains that Yamamoto is the top starting pitcher on the free agent market, given his youth and frontline starter upside. Given that so many teams are pursuing him, a $300 million guarantee before even factoring in his posting fee isn't out of the question, and seems likely.

Could the Dodgers still land Yamamoto when all of the dust settles? Absolutely. However, if they are currently looking to try and offer him $250-300 million, they may find themselves outbid by teams that are more desperate than LA such as the Yankees, Mets, or even the Giants.

If that comes to pass, don't expect LA to take the L and stand pat. They have already invested so much this offseason, and with some roster holes to fill, the Dodgers are going to remain the aggressors until the last guy signs.

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