Yoshinobu Yamamoto creating free agency docuseries explains why Dodgers invested so much

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers
Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

Yoshinobu Yamamoto was always going to find a home in MLB; the only real questions were with who, and for how much. When it really came down to it, the Dodgers and Yankees seemed like the only real possibilities, while the Phillies and Mets were just shooting their shot and praying for the best (while also driving Yamamoto's price up for him nicely).

But, in the end, he did what might've been the least surprising thing and followed Shohei Ohtani to the Dodgers to the tune of $325 million and 12 guaranteed years, with perks beyond belief piled up on top.

Yamamoto and Ohtani are worth over $1 billion put together, which is exhorbitant in literally anyone's book. However, the Dodgers knew when they signed them that they weren't just getting the best pitcher to come out of Japan and the best player to come out of Japan. They were also getting Japanese fans and sponsors who would buy into the team, both literally and figuratively.

The Dodgers have already made deals with some huge sponsors: ANA, an airline with direct flights between Tokyo and LA, Daiso, Toyo Tires, and Kowa, the "official Japanese topical pain relief product of the Dodgers."

Yamamoto put an even finer point on the power he and Ohtani wield over Japanese fans when Prime Video released teaser for a short docuseries following Yamamoto on his path through free agency in MLB.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is the subject of a new Prime Video docuseries chronicling his path through free agency

Dodgers haters can and will probably continue to call Yamamoto overrated throughout his career (we'll chalk that one up to jealousy; no one had the kind of offseason the Dodgers had), but all parties involved can recognize how valuable he is to the organization both on the field and off. Yamamoto and Ohtani bring Japanese fans to LA just to watch them play, and they fill up opponents' parks whenever they roll into other cities.

It doesn't feel overly dramatic to say that Japanese fans might never abandon either of them, even if both turned out to be the biggest contracts busts in history (which they won't), so Yamamoto and Ohtani will continue to pay for their own contracts to a certain extent, and they'll do it for 10-12 years with (hopefully) a couple World Series rings on top of it.