Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Have Not Met With Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Says Dave Roberts

The Japanese right-hander has until January 4 to sign with an MLB team

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was very forthcoming on Tuesday, announcing that the team met with free agent Shohei Ohtani in person. He also let it be known that he hadn’t met with free agent pitching sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Roberts said he’s hopeful to sit down with the free-agent pitcher, which could make sense given Yamamoto’s timeline.

Yamamoto was posted by the Orix Buffaloes on Nov. 20, which kicked off a 45-day countdown until his Jan. 4 deadline to sign with an MLB team. Andy Martino of SNY previously reported that Yamamoto was expected to meet with finalists during the Winter Meetings.

The Dodgers are reported to have major interest in Yamamoto. Their starting rotation struggled in 2023 and will be missing several stalwarts next year. Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urías are poised to enter 2024 as unsigned free agents. Right-handers Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin will spend most (if not all) of next season recovering from Tommy John surgery. 

Given these losses, Yamamoto could become the face of the Dodgers’ starting rotation immediately. Scouts have reportedly heralded him as the best pitcher to come out of Japan – this season, if not ever – and the few teams that can afford Yamamoto’s services are lining up to greet him.

While some suitors already have a clear number-1 starter, the 25-year-old Yamamoto would give the Dodgers the ace-level pitcher they currently lack. Their pursuit of Ohtani could be holding up a potential meeting, however, as the Dodgers met him in person over the weekend at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers have already re-signed outfielder Jason Hayward and are reportedly close to bringing back pitcher Joe Kelly. Once Ohtani has settled on his next team, the Dodgers’ front office figures to pivot to addressing their rotation needs. That might include a meeting with Yamamoto in the near future.

Photo Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

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Matt Levine

Matt earned a Master of Science degree in Sport Management from Louisiana State University in 2021. He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, growing up a huge fan of the Dodgers and Lakers. Matt Kemp was his favorite Dodgers player growing up.

One Comment

  1. Would somebody shut the puppet Roberts the hell up. He’s already cost us several world championships and he’s probably already cost us the two best free agents out there. Unless that egomaniac Friedman put Roberts up to it so it would cost them those free agents and not have to pay them. And he would have the excuse that he tried.

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