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#pounditWednesday, May 22, 2024

Yoshinobu Yamamoto being recruited hard by 1 team

Yoshinobu Yamamoto on the field

Aug 4, 2021; Yokohama, Japan; Team Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (17) reacts against Korea in a baseball semifinal match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Yokohama Baseball Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto is drawing huge interest from MLB teams, but one club appears to be going above and beyond to try to woo him.

Yamamoto received a personal visit in Japan from New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, according to multiple reports. Andy Martino of SNY reported that the Mets owner had dinner with Yamamoto and also met the pitcher’s family.

Yamamoto appears to be the Mets’ No. 1 free agent target. The 25-year-old has gone 70-29 with a 1.82 ERA in his Nippon Professional Baseball career and is widely expected to land a contract worth upwards of $200 million. He stands as a potential anchor for their rotation, and Cohen is clearly trying to go above and beyond to convince him to sign.

The Mets are facing major competition for Yamamoto, and virtually every deep-pocketed team has shown some level of interest. The Mets’ cross-town rivals have even been planning a pursuit for at least a year.

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