Yamamoto MUST be the priority


After being MLB’s biggest disappointment in 2023, the New York Mets have made massive changes to the front office and a managerial change. The next step is looking at possible Mets signings in 2023-24. After a few small moves, the club needs to make a big splash. Among the many Mets offseason targets, Yoshinobu Yamamoto should be their top priority.

Why Mets Should Target Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Among those making free agency predictions this offseason, many believe that Yamamoto is likely to end up with the Mets. Obviously, that’s a promising sign. Compared to the other Mets offseason targets, Yamamoto is the guy they need to prioritize, even more than Shohei Ohtani. Let’s take a closer look at why Yamamoto is a fit for the Mets and why they need to sign him at all costs.

Prioritize Pitching

Between their established stars and young prospects in the upper levels of the minors, the Mets don’t have a huge need to invest in position players this offseason. However, they have several openings to fill in their rotation. At the moment, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana are the only sure things for the rotation in 2024. Luis Severino was signed with the hope that he’ll stay healthy while youngsters like Tylor Megill and Jose Butto can compete for spots at the back of the rotation.

It’s obvious that the Mets are lacking at the top of the rotation. Senga proved to be an ace in 2023 and could be even better next year with a full season in the big leagues under his belt. But it’ll take at least one or two more frontline starters to put the Mets in a realistic position to contender for the pennant in 2024. Yamamoto is considered to be even better than Senga, so pairing those two together would give the Mets exactly what they need.

The Right Age

One key area where Yamamoto is an even better option than Senga is his age. He’s just 25, meaning he would be able to lead the rotation for a long time to come, not just in 2024.

The Mets tried and failed to build a rotation around aging veterans like Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer last season. By going after Yamamoto, they would correct that mistake and try the opposite tactic. Since Yamamoto is younger than all of the other aces on the free-agent market, he’s the perfect starting pitcher to build around.

Risk Involved

Of course, signing Yamamoto doesn’t come without risks. He’s expected to command more than $200 million and a commitment of up to 10 years.

If he fails, Yamamoto could end up having one of the worst MLB contracts ever. But with Steve Cohen’s checkbook, the Mets are one of the few teams that can afford to take a risk like that. Given the upside that Yamamoto has, this is a risk that the Mets need to take.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the Mets need more starting pitching. They struggled to find consistency in that area last season and failed to compete for a playoff spot as a result. For all intents and purposes, Yamamoto is the most talented starting pitcher on the free-agent market, not to mention the youngest. Given his age and upside, Yamamoto is someone the Mets can build their pitching staff around for many years to come, especially with Senga also signed to a long-term deal and in the prime of his career. 

Moreover, the Mets need to do something big this offseason to put last season behind them and signal a more promising future ahead. Signing Ohtani could do that, although that doesn’t seem like a realistic option for the Mets. Considering how much they need elite starting pitching, signing Yamamoto might actually be a better move than signing Ohtani, which is why Yamamoto needs to be their biggest priority this offseason.



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