Just In: Yoshinobu Yamamoto, for first time: Why I didn’t pick Yankees or Mets….

Despite being heavily pursued by both New York teams as he looked to join his first MLB club, Yoshinobu Yamamoto landed with the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – MARCH 20: Yoshinobu Yamamoto #18 of Team Japan reacts in the fifth inning against Team Mexico during the World Baseball Classic Semifinals at loanDepot park on March 20, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

But according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, location was not a huge factor in the right-hander’s decision. Instead, the Dodgers’ history of success is what drew him in.

“I really got the impression that the Dodgers were very successful for a very long time,” Yamamoto said to Sherman through a translator. “And just that the atmosphere with the organization was really good.”

Yamamoto agreed to a 12-year, $325 million contract with Los Angeles in December. The Mets presented the same deal to the 25-year old and the Yankees offered 10 years, $300 million.

Yamamoto told Sherman that the Mets and Yankees, “communicated with me that they were really serious about having me on their team.”

Last year was Yamamoto’s third consecutive sub-2 ERA season in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, and he entered MLB free agency with lots of eyes on him for his talent and youth. Last season for the Orix Buffaloes, he put up a 1.21 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 169 strikeouts in 164 innings and won his third Eiji Sawamura Award, which is the Japanese version of the Cy-Young.

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