The Philadelphia Phillies' starting rotation is one area of this roster expected to be shaken up this offseason. Aaron Nola's potential exit has fans clamoring to know which pitchers the club will be targeting to replace him if he does leave.
One popular name is Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a top international free agent several contenders could go after in free agency. As it turns out, the Phillies' interest in Yamamoto is incredibly real.
Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Phillies have done "significant work" on the righty. A National League scout quoted by Coffey adds the club should be "considered one of the top five or six suitors for his services."
This is incredibly exciting news for Phillies fans. It makes it clear Philadelphia is firmly in the running to land the incredible Japanese talent, giving the organization an obvious backup plan if Nola negotiations go sideways.
The hype surrounding Yamamoto is absolutely warranted considering his start to his career. The 25-year-old is a two-time Pacific League MVP and three-time Gold Glove winner in the Nippon Professional Baseball league. He's posted a staggering 1.82 ERA across 897.0 combined NPB innings as well while racking up a whopping 922 strikeouts.
By all accounts, Yamamoto is exact kind of top-of-the-rotation talent who could immediately bolster this team's World Series hopes in 2024. Yes, there'll be an adjustment period making the switch to MLB, but if his success translates, the Phillies could have a Cy Young winner for years to come.
Philadelphia will have plenty of competition to this winter to sign Yamamoto, and juggling Nola's situation makes things even more complicated. However, the team needs to make this happen if Nola walks.
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