3. Yoshinobu Yamamoto
The Red Sox haven’t been afraid to splurge on international signings in recent years, going back to their splashy Daisuke Matsuzaka signing before the 2007 season. They also brought in Masataka Yoshida last offseason with positive results, so now they should go after his former teammate as well now that he's officially been posted by the Orix Buffaloes.
Yamamoto has been one of the top pitchers in Japan for several years now and only seems to be getting better. He’s 69-29 with a dazzling 1.83 ERA over seven seasons in the NPB, including 16-6 with a 1.21 ERA this year.
He’s only 25, too, so he’s just coming into his prime and should be a great pitcher for another half-decade at least. That’s the kind of pitcher you want to sign to a long-term deal, not some thirty-something whose arm is about to give out.
Yamamoto will cost a pretty penny once you factor in the posting fee, but having Yoshida already on the roster should give Boston an edge in negotiations. He can help recruit Yamamoto and make him more comfortable here, especially since Yoshida has already expressed how much he enjoys playing for the Red Sox.
International signings can be risky, but given his age and track record, Yamamoto is well worth the investment. Signing him would also make the Red Sox even more popular in Japan, helping grow their brand overseas.
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