Yoshinobu Yamamoto: Price
What's there not to like about Yoshinobu Yamamoto? He just turned 25 years old, has been dominating in Japan since he was 18, and is posting a 1.26 ERA with 155 SO in 157 innings of work in 2023. He's young, durable, and putting up about as good numbers as possible. So what's the problem here?
Forbes.com just called Yamamoto "MLB's Next Big Bidding War", something I'm not sure the Cardinals will want to find themselves in. Players coming across from Japan seem to have a better success rate lately than they have in the past, but there is still risk involved with seeing how he could look at the Major League level.
If there is one "flag" to point to beyond his contract, it's that there seems to be disagreement among talent evaluators in baseball about what his ceiling is. Some see him as a true number one for a playoff rotation, while others see Yamamoto as a number two at best.
Do I think the Cardinals should be in the Yamamoto sweepstakes? For sure. There's risk with every pitcher available, but Yamamoto's performance at such a young age feels like a can't-miss opportunity for St. Louis.
Still, virtually every team is going to want to bring in Yamamoto this offseason, so outbidding clubs like the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Cubs, and more will be a tall task. Let's hope the Cardinals are up to it.