The battle between New York baseball teams for the coveted Yoshinobu Yamamoto is heating up, with the Mets reportedly gaining ground in the race to sign the Japanese pitcher.
According to MLB Network analyst Jon Paul Morosi, the Mets are now considered one of the favorites, if not the favorite, to land Yamamoto. This comes after the team’s recent trip to Japan to meet with the pitcher, which is said to have helped level the competition with the Yankees, who had previously been viewed as the frontrunners in the bidding war.
It’s been reported that Mets owner Steve Cohen and president of baseball operations David Stears traveled to Japan to meet with Yamamoto and his representatives, including his mother and Mets right-hander Kodai Senga, Hiro Fujiwara. The purpose of the trip was to help Yamamoto get to know the team and to convey the club’s intentions of bringing him to Queens.
According to SNY’s Andy Martino, the trip was a success, with the Mets now appearing to be in a better position than ever to sign Yamamoto.
The Yankees are scheduled to meet with Yamamoto in the United States on Monday, and it remains to be seen how their meeting with the pitcher will impact the ongoing negotiations.