In the aftermath of a World Series run cut short by a few games, the Diamondbacks are aiming to bolster their starting pitching, a strategic emphasis underscored by Mike Hazen’s prompt post-season remarks.
Fortunately, the upcoming winter presents a wealth of ace-level talent on the free agent market.
Some of these aces that are looking for a new home include Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery, Clayton Kershaw, Jordan Woodruff, and many, many more.
However, the name that has recently perked the Diamondbacks front office interest is someone who has yet to step foot on the mound in the MLB.
Instead, he has completely dominated Japan while pitching in the Nippon Professional Baseball League.
That is, Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
At just 25 years old, Yamamoto has risen to become one of the premier pitchers in the NPB.
Over the past three seasons, he has yet to post an ERA above 2.00, has picked up at least 15 wins each year, and has tossed eight complete game shutouts.
In total, through 172 games in the NPB, Yamamoto has recorded a 1.82 ERA, a record of 70-29, and struck out 922 batters in 897 innings of work.
Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, while there are many clubs that have expressed interest in this dominant right-hander, the Diamondbacks and the Tigers have emerged as the two front runners thus far.
While the Diamondbacks would have to reach deep into their payroll in order to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, it would seem that the deal would be well worth the money.
Towards the end of last season, the D-backs primarily only had three starting pitchers: Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, and rookie Brandon Pfaadt.
Due to this lack of depth in their starting rotation, the Diamondbacks elected to have bullpen games as early on as Game 4 in both the NLCS and the World Series.
It is estimated that Yamamoto will earn a contract worth a little over $200 million.