The New York Yankees lost Japanese free-agent right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but not for lack of trying.
A comparison of the teams' offers lends credence to the notion that Yamamoto may have preferred the Dodgers to any other club.
The Yankees offered Yamamoto a higher average annual value than the Dodgers, an earlier departure and more money in the first five years, according to sources briefed on their respective proposals.
Yamamoto, however, agreed to a 12-year, $325 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that included a $50 million signing bonus, opt-outs after the sixth and ninth years, and backloaded salary. The deal isn't official yet. The New York Mets offered the same 12 years and $325 million. Other details of their bid are unknown.
The Yankees offered Yamamoto 10 years, $300 million — a $30 million AAV versus the Dodgers' $27.08 million. They opted out of their contract after the fifth year, and the salary remained the same each year, with no refunds.
So, including a $46.875 million posting fee to Yamamoto's Japanese club, the Orix Buffaloes, the Yankees were willing to pay a total of nearly $200 million over five years, knowing that Yamamoto would later opt out.
The Yankees' non-offering of Yamamoto exceeds the $324 million they guaranteed their own Gerrit Cole after the 2019 season, a total value for a pitcher. They did not offer a $50 million signing bonus, although the parties could have turned the money into a bonus if negotiations progressed.
Per Robert Raiola is a CPA who is director of sports and recreation at accounting firm PFK O'Connor Davis in Yamamoto. California does not pay taxes on signing bonuses If he is a non-resident of the State.
The Dodgers will pay the bonus in full in 2024, and the tax savings for Yamamoto could be $7.2 million.
The message is clear. Like Shohei Ohtani, Yar was reportedly ready to match the Giants and Blue Jays With a 10-year, massive $700 million deal from the Dodgers, Yamamoto seemed to have a specific team he wanted to join. That team is the Dodgers.
(Top photo of Yamamoto: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images via AFP)