It's no secret that with Shohei Ohtani now off the market, Japan's Yoshinobu Yamamoto has become the next big-name free agent that everyone is paying attention to. He is likely to command big money, with some saying he could get north of $300 milion despite never throwing a pitch in the big leagues before.
With all the focus on Yamamoto, the MLB insiders are now devoting more time to him. Jon Heyman of the New York Post has been providing updates about Yamamoto's market, and lists the favorites as the Mets, Yankees, and to no one's surprise, the Dodgers.
The good news for Tigers fans is that in a follow-up quote tweet, Heyman lists the Tigers as a team that has been linked to Yamamoto. Now, before everyone gets their hopes up, it's time for the bad news.
He listed several teams, but said that Yamamoto's demands have gotten "a bit too rich" for a couple of those teams. You can probably see where this is going.
He didn't flat out say that the Tigers are out on Yamamoto because he's too expensive for them, but we can read the tea leaves here. Between all the teams Heyman listed in the tweet above, which ones do you think have already cheaped out? Be honest.
Yes, it's the Tigers, and probably Arizona, although they would at least make a bit more sense they've already given a lengthy contract to Eduardo Rodriguez.
But for the Tigers? There's no reason to be out on Yamamoto. Signing him wouldn't even bring their payroll to $100 million. It's a joke right now.
He's a 25-year-old generational talent. They should be in it until the very end. It would show the rest of the league that you mean business.
Sure, they'd probably get outspent by big fish like the Yankees and Dodgers, but at least you could say you were close.
In reality, we should probably just be happy they tried. At least Scott Harris attempted to go after the big free agents from Japan. That's more than you say for many front offices before his.
If they are truly out on Yamamoto, they should focus all their attention on Shota Imanaga. He's not as good as Yamamoto, but he'd be a heck of a consolation prize.