NEW YORK — Yoshinobu Yamamoto will become a free agent Tuesday and major league teams can sign him through 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 4.
Nippon Professional Baseball notified Major League Baseball that
He pitched his second career no-hitter, the 100th no-hitter in Japanese big league history, for the Buffaloes against the Lotte Marines on Sept. 9. That game, watched by MLB executives including New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, extended his scoreless streak to 42 innings.
A two-time Pacific League MVP, Yamamoto also pitched a no-hitter against the Seibu Lions on June 18 last year. His fastball averaged 95 mph and topped out at 96.6 mph in Japan’s semifinal win over Mexico in the World Baseball Classic in March. He threw 20 fastballs, 19 splitters, six curveballs, six cutters and one slider in a relief outing. Batters swung at 11 of his splitters and missed four.
Following hard-throwing 21-year-old sensation Rōki Sasaki, Yamamoto gave up two runs and three hits in 3⅓ innings with four strikeouts and two walks, allowing Alex Verdugo‘s RBI double. Yamamoto was charged with a second run when Isaac Paredes hit an RBI single off Atsuki Yuasa.
Under the MLB-NPB agreement, the posting fee will be 20% of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. The percentage drops to 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any amount over $50 million. There would be a supplemental fee of 15% of any earned bonuses, salary escalators and exercised options.