The Los Angeles Dodgers have blown the doors off of this offseason thanks to a spending spree the sport of baseball hasn't seen before. Shohei Ohtani's $700 million deal was only the beginning as LA has since traded for Tyler Glasnow and made Yoshinobu Yamamoto's $325 million deal official. For those keeping score at home, that's over $1.1 billion committed to just three guys.
Yamamoto's introductory press conference occurred Wednesday afternoon and, as expected, much of it was a pretty scripted affair. Yamamoto talked about how much it meant to him to sign with the team and that he always preferred without or without Ohtani in the fold. Again, a lot of the usual first press conference stuff.
However, it was this promise he made that should get Dodgers fans amped up.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto is all-in on helping the Dodgers win World Series
It can't be overstated how important it was for Ohtani to defer as much of his contract as he did. While his presence on the roster in itself is certainly a draw for other free agents including Yamamoto, LA still has to have some payroll to work with to take advantage of it, and Ohtani's deal gave them that flexibility. It's clear Ohtani wants to win and put his money where his mouth is, and it sure seems like Yamamoto shares that same motivation.
While Yamamoto didn't give the Dodgers any discounts or help like Ohtani did, the general tone of his press conference was one of appreciation and determination. Yamamoto seems to thoroughly enjoy the limelight, which is good news because being expected to be a frontline starter for the Dodgers after signing a huge deal is going to have a lot of eyeballs on him. Instead of shrinking from that, Yamamoto seems to welcome it and the expectations that come with all of this attention.
Time will tell if Yamamoto will be able to keep that promise and translate his game to MLB. There are certainly plenty of cases where players on both sides of the ball coming over from Japan have struggled mightily in the big leagues. However, Yamamoto seems to be a different breed of player altogether, and from the sound of things, it appears as though he's willing to put in the work to make an impact right away.