Yoshinobu Yamamoto agreed to the largest deal ever given to a pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball last week — yet he has yet to even throw an MLB pitch.
The 25-year-old right-hander and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to 12-year, $325 million deal. The Dodgers continued their wild spending spree while giving a deal that surpassed Gerrit Cole for the most money ever given to a pitcher by just $1 million.
Of course, most baseball fans in the United States had no idea who Yamamoto was when the free agency period even started.
During the season, rumors swirled whether Yamamoto would even get $200 million in free agency. That alone would have been a record itself for the largest deal ever given to a Japanese player, and the largest ever to a player who had not yet played Major League Baseball.
So, former MLB outfielder Josh Reddick seemed confused as to how Yamamoto could sign such a contract.
“How do you give a guy $325 million without ever throwing a pitch in MLB,” he posted on X, formerly Twitter.
When one user replied that “baseball is ruined,” Reddick answered back, “I agree.”
Well, users of the platform were quick to respond to Reddick, who was a member of the 2017 Houston Astros, who notoriously bashed trash cans as part of an elaborate sign-stealing scheme en route to a World Series championship.
Many people were quick to say remind Reddick of the cheating, despite him saying baseball was ruined because of such immense contracts.
Those who didn’t call out the trash cans also reminded Reddick that baseball in Japan includes some of the best talent in the entire world — and Yamamoto dominated it.
Yamamoto has been named the MVP of the Pacific League in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan for three straight years. In seven seasons in Japan, Yamamoto has pitched to a 1.72 ERA. With the Orix Buffaloes this year, his ERA was 1.21. In Game 6 of the Japan Series, he threw 138 pitches and struck out 14 batters in a 5-1 victory. His highest ERA in a single season in Japan was the 2.35 he posted in 2017.
And, to go against Reddick once more, it’s not like the Dodgers care too much about money after signing Shohei Ohtani to a $700 million, while $680 million of it is deferred.