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Yoshinobu Yamamoto Phillies

The Phillies, aided by top recruiter Bryce Harper are actively pursuing Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Even after signing Aaron Nola to a 7-year, $175 million contract, the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly still in the hunt to add another starting pitcher in MLB free agency. 

According to’s Todd Zolecki and the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Alex Coffey the Phillies still plan on pursuing top Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto and they are being helped by Bryce Harper in the recruitment process. 

Harper is participating in the team’s recruitment of Yamamoto which included creating a cameo in a promotional video made for Yamamoto’s camp.

So what’s next? The Phillies’ $172 million commitment to Nola does not mean they will stop trying to upgrade. Sources said they still have plans to pursue Yamamoto, who is a two-time Pacific League MVP and three-time Sawamura Award winner (Japan’s Cy Young). Word is that Phillies superstar Bryce Harper was involved in making a pitch to Yamamoto’s camp, which included a sizzle reel.

The Phillies scouted Yamamoto multiple times throughout last season and all things considered, he’s worth every penny of the hype he’s been receiving in the early stages of free agency. At just 25 years old, Yamamoto pitched to a 1.21 ERA over 23 starts for the Orix Buffaloes in 2023.

Across seven seasons in NPB, Yamamoto is 75-30 with a 1.72 ERA. That type of productivity in the Japan league translates to a reported $200 plus million contract in Major League Baseball. 

The Phillies Starting Rotation with Yoshinobu Yamamoto

  • Zack Wheeler 
  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto
  • Aaron Nola 
  • Ranger Suarez 
  • Taijuan Walker / Cristopher Sanchez 
  • Mick Abel / Griff McGarry / Andrew Painter (2025)

Yamamoto is expected to be posted by the Buffaloes on Monday. He will have 45 days to sign with an MLB club or return to play another season in Nippon Professional Baseball.

We’ll see how it plays out. Pretty much every team in Major League Baseball willing to spend the money will be going after Yamamoto.

Hopefully a Bryce Harper sizzle reel and John Middleton’s deep pockets are enough to get it done. 

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