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
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5) Yamamoto's deal cements the Dodgers' dominance in the Japanese market.

The Shohei Ohtani contract was more influential, but the Yamamoto deal matters too. The Dodgers just acquired two of the greatest Japanese players of all time, and they handed out those deals within a few weeks of one another. Ohtani's tenure with the Angels demonstrated the hold his team can have over the Japanese fanbase. Japan will watch the Dodgers. Their young players will grow up watching the Dodgers.

The Dodgers' outsized influence in Japan will help them acquire the premium talent coming out of the region as well. Roki Sasaki, a flamethrowing 22-year-old righty, is likely to be posted within the next few years. His age will restrict his earnings, and the Dodgers will be in the perfect position to capitalize. Why wouldn't Sasaki want to join a team that boasts Ohtani and Yamamoto, among a host of other stars? It's certainly going to be difficult to bring him to St. Louis. But, if anyone's up to the task, it's Lars Nootbaar.

The Cardinals have traditionally done well in the Japanese and Korean markets. Seung Hwan Oh, Kwang Hyun Kim, and Miles Mikolas represent some of the successful deals they've inked with Asian players. Now, however, it could be more difficult than ever to acquire talent from the NPB or KBO.

Additionally, Yamamoto's deal could bring even more attention to the NPB. It will be very difficult to acquire premium talent on sneaky deals, the way the Cardinals did with Mikolas, Oh, and Kim. Where these markets previously offered interested teams a competitive advantage, they're now being thrust firmly into the spotlight. Jung Hoo Lee's $113MM contract with the Giants is a great example of this. These mega deals will forever change the way free agents from the KBO and NPB are pursued. I want to add that that's a good thing. These players should get fair market value. But, it will make it more difficult for the Cardinals to participate in this market.

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