The Phillies have made an offer (subscription required) to 25-year-old stand-out Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, per Matt Gelb of The Athletic. Yamamoto is the most highly sought-after free agent on the market currently and has been garnering interest from a number of high-profile teams. He has made it clear that he wants to pitch on the biggest stage and is currently evaluating offers.
While it has not been reported how much the offer was, Alex Coffey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Phillies had planned to be aggressive in their pursuit of the right-handed pitcher. The Phillies may not be able to offer the most money, but Philadelphia has become known as an electric place to play and has had team success in recent years.
The Phillies are one of seven teams reported to be in the mix for Yamamoto, along with the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, and Boston Red Sox.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto has pitched his whole career in the Nippon Professional Baseball league out of Japan. Over 967 2/3 innings, he has pitched to a 1.72 era with 986 strikeouts and a minuscule 216 walks. He has won almost every award available to a pitcher, winning the Pacific League MVP Award twice, the Eiji Sawamura Award (Japan’s version of the Cy Young Award) three times, and two Gold Gloves.
As reported by MLB Network's Jon Morosi, Bryce Harper FaceTimed with Yamamoto during the Phillies' pitch to him.
Harper, who is a Philadelphia transplant himself, has come to love the city and organization and has only great things to say. Like Yamamoto, Harper loves the big stage and wants to win more than anything else. Having him on the pitch could be the secret sauce to get Yamamoto in the red pinstripes.