5 ways the Yoshinobu Yamamoto deal affects the St. Louis Cardinals

Yoshinobu Yamamoto just agreed to a 12-year, $325MM deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals were never going to match that price, but this deal has turned the pitching market upside down. How does it affect the St. Louis Cardinals and their offseason plans?
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
1 of 6

Yoshinobu Yamamoto agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 21. The deal, the largest ever for a pitcher, locks him up for the next 12 years and will pay out $325MM. Yamamoto also comes with a hefty signing bonus of $51MM, which brings the total value of the deal to roughly $375MM. Yamamoto will be paid roughly $27MM annually, although the Dodgers front-loaded the contract by including a large $50MM signing bonus. Between the signing bonus, the posting fee, and Yamamoto's salary, the Dodgers will shell out roughly $125MM alone in 2024 to secure his services.

Fans everywhere are, to put it diplomatically, peeved. Many have declared that the Dodgers have ruined baseball. The Dodgers have certainly put together a talented roster. They will win a lot of games in 2024. There's probably no scenario in which they miss the postseason. They're prohibitive favorites to win the NL pennant and the World Series title. Does that mean they'll actually bring home the hardware? I'll still take the field, because this is baseball, and baseball is weird. That's why they play the games, right?

But, this deal, and the Dodgers' off-season as a whole, is unprecedented. It's awe-inspiring. It's gargantuan. It's truly incredible. It also stinks for a lot of other teams. The Yamamoto signing doesn't just affect Los Angeles. Sure, they're better. But this deal also affects the pitching market. In this article, I'll also argue that it will affect the way other organizations structure their own rosters.

Of course, this is a Cardinals outlet and I'm a Cardinals fan. I'm going to be describing how this deal affects the Cardinals. However, it's clear that the implications of Yamamoto's deal will be felt league-wide. With that disclaimer out of the way, let's dive into what Yamamoto's contract means for the St. Louis Cardinals by examining five key takeaways.