Olympic gold medallist Yoshinobu Yamamoto joins Ohtani at LA Dodgers

Olympic gold medallist Yoshinobu Yamamoto joins Ohtani at LA Dodgers
27/12/2023
Japanese baseball star Yamamoto signed a 12-year contract worth US$325 million, the largest ever by a pitcher in MLB history. Another Samurai Japan legend Shohei Ohtani joined the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this month for $700 million.

WBSC Premier12 star and Olympic gold medallist Yoshinobu Yamamoto agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB) having signed a 12-year, $325m deal which includes a $50 million signing bonus. It's the largest contract ever signed by a pitcher.

The Oryx Buffaloes, Yamamoto's Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) team, will receive a $50.6 million posting fee. The deal was finalised on Wednesday after a physical.

Born in 1998, Yamamoto has been part of the WBSC Premier12 2019, Tokyo 2020 Olympics and World Baseball Classic 2023 winning teams.

After the right-hander transitioned from the bullpen to the Buffaloes starting rotation in 2019, his NPB career became legendary. Yamamoto has dominated the Pacific League in the last three seasons, besting the league in wins, strikeouts and Earned Run Average (ERA) for three consecutive seasons.

He became the second pitcher in NPB's history to win three consecutive Eiji Sawamura Awards for the best pitcher after Hall of Famer Masaichi Kaneda (1933-2019). Yamamoto has been the Pacific League's MVP in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Shohei Ohtani earlier this month.