Dodgers Sign Japanese Superstar Yamamoto To Record-Breaking Deal, Crushing Hopes Of Franchises Everywhere

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Robert McGreevy Contributor
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The Los Angeles Dodgers just handed $375 million to Japanese superstar pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the largest pitcher contract in MLB history, according to multiple reports.

After a multi-week, high-profile bidding war, the Dodgers beat out the New York Mets, the Yankees and others, signing Yamamoto to a 12-year, $375 million contract, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported.

The deal, which includes a $50 million guaranteed signing bonus, has a pair of opt-outs, according to Passan. The Dodgers will also reportedly pay an additional $50 million posting fee to Yamamoto’s Japanese club the Orix Buffaloes.

Yamamoto became the most coveted free agent on the market after the Dodgers signed his team Japan teammate Shohei Ohtani to a record-shattering $700 million deal earlier in the month.

Reports showed that multiple teams were making him big time offers in the days leading up to his Dodgers deal.

The Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays were all rumored to be in on him right up to the wire. The Mets reportedly offered Yamamoto the exact same $375 million deal as the Dodgers, while the Yankees apparently made him a 10-year, $300 million offer, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.

The $375 million is $1 million higher than the previous record for pitchers, specifically Gerrit Cole’s $374 million deal from the Yankees. While Ohtani is *technically* a pitcher and his $700 million deal is the highest in professional sporting history, he’s also a prolific hitter. (RELATED: Touching Message From Kobe Bryant Convinced Shohei Ohtani To Sign With The Dodgers)

Between just Ohtani and Yamamoto, the Dodgers have spent a jawdropping $1 billion in free agency so far between just two players.

The teams that missed out on Yamamoto will have to pivot to one of the other arms on the market like Blake Snell or Mike Montgomery.

The Yamamoto sweepstakes had been holding up much of the rest of the market as the big money teams focused heavily on the most hyped pitcher on the market. Now that he’s locked up, expect the logjam to clear and the money to start flowing.