New details of Yoshinobu Yamamoto bidding war prove he badly wanted to join Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers Workout
Los Angeles Dodgers Workout / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

When the Dodgers signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto for a record-breaking 12-year, $325 million deal, they beat out both New York teams at the buzzer, who were making their own wild plays for him. The Giants had also exited (or, more accurately, been ushered out of) the conversation prior to the final decision.

The Phillies were also in the running toward the end; they went as far as to offer Yamamoto a formal contract a week before he chose the Dodgers. Just days later, they switched gears to prioritize a Zack Wheeler extension and fell off the radar in the Yamamoto hunt.

We knew about the Yankees giving Yamamoto a No. 18 jersey, and about the Mets trying to spin Shohei Ohtani's presence in LA as a bad thing for Yamamoto, but we didn't get too many details about the Phillies' pursuit until now.

Per Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer, who spoke with Phillies owner John Middleton, the Phillies offered Yamamoto even more money than the Dodgers, and he still chose LA.

Phillies reportedly offered Yoshinobu Yamamoto more money than Dodgers in free agency

If that's not evidence he prioritized the Dodgers, specifically, above some nebulous idea of "winning," we're not sure what is. The Phillies have reached the World Series and NLCS more recently than the Dodgers have. Didn't matter one iota.

Despite the suspense around Yamamoto's decision, there were a lot of signs pointing toward the Dodgers from the outset. He grew up a Dodgers fan in Japan, Samurai Japan teammate Shohei Ohtani was part of the wooing squad, the Dodgers win a lot, and so on. For the Phillies, who are also not a team that shies away from spending big money when necessary, their play at Yamamoto was admirable. However, the fact that he turned them down for less money in LA makes it seem like Yamamoto as a Dodger was written in the stars.

Yamamoto is expected to make his MLB debut in Seoul against the Padres, less than a month from now, in the wake of receiving standing ovations and praise from teammates at Dodgers spring training. His transition from NPB to MLB has seemed smooth so far, despite some reasons to worry about the move, and it gives fans a lot of hope for what he'll look like on the mound in a real game.

The Dodgers will take on the Phillies in two series this season, the first in July and the second in August, and very well might see them in the postseason. Hopefully, Yamamoto will continue to live up to expectations and be able to show the Phillies and their fans exactly what they missed out on.