Yoshinobu Yamamoto's 12-year, $325 million deal with the Dodgers currently sits atop the leaderboards as the richest contract ever tendered to a major league pitcher, beating out Gerrit Cole's deal with the Yankees by $1 million. This came as a shock to many, as his price was originally thought to be in the $200-250 million range. It escalated slowly as talks intensified, with the Dodgers finally landing on the record-breaking number they offered.
Shohei Ohtani's contract came with a slew of small contractual nuggets, including an opt-out if Mark Walter no longer has a majority ownership or president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman leaves. Yamamoto's contract may not have built in the same leverage Ohtani now has with the Dodgers, but it does come with a few delightful perks.
Per Jon Heyman, Yamamoto's contract gave him a slew of add-ons, including an interpreter, plane tickets for himself and his family, and — very importantly -- Japanese food in the clubhouse (or, at least, the team's "best efforts" to secure it).
Dodgers spent a ridiculous amount on luxuries in Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s contract
Though some naysayers might argue that this is all too exorbitant for a player who has yet to throw a pitch in the major leagues, shouldn't the Dodgers want to incentivize him to do his best work for the team? Given the down-to-the-wire competition for Yamamoto, it makes sense that the Dodgers would kick in so many perks to set themselves apart from the Yankees and Mets. Sure, it's a lot, but $325 million to break Cole's record was bound to come with a few additional asks. At this point, the Dodgers seem to be made of money. They might as well spend some of it to keep players happy.
No doubt eyes from across the league will be on Yamamoto's first MLB start, waiting with bated breath to see if he'll be able to live up to all of the hype. With a personal trainer and physical therapist now at his disposal, one would hope that he will be. The big question that remains now is if Yamamoto will share his Japanese food with his teammates. Let Mookie and Freddie in on the sushi bar!