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Another star is headed to Hollywood. Thursday night the Los Angeles Dodgers landed prized Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto with a record 12-year, $325 million contract. It is the largest pitching contract in history. The deal includes no deferrals, and the Dodgers will pay the Orix Buffaloes, Yamamoto's former team, a posting fee just north of $50 million. All-in, it's a $375 million investment.

Yamamoto will join Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and his pal Shohei Ohtani to give the Dodgers the closest thing MLB has ever seen to a Golden State Warriors-esque superteam. Will it lead to World Series titles (plural)? That remains to be seen. It's harder to win the World Series now than ever before given the large postseason field and inherent randomness of short series.

With Yamamoto headed to Chavez Ravine, let's crown some winners and losers, shall we? We shall.

Winner: Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Let's start with the obvious: the guy signing the $325 million contract is a winner and a big one. The timing could not have worked out better for Yamamoto. He made the jump to MLB during an offseason with a relatively thin pitching free agent class and at a time when the Dodgers, and also the Mets and Yankees, were desperate and ready to spend. Joel Wolfe, Yamamoto's agent, expertly leveraged the big-market teams against each other and the result is the largest contract ever given to a pitcher, and it went to a pitcher who's never thrown a single pitch in MLB.

Winner: Dodgers

They got Ohtani and now they got Yamamoto (and they got Tyler Glasnow too). It cost them 10 figures -- Ohtani and Yamamoto signed contracts worth a combined $1.025 billion -- but they landed the sport's coolest and most talented player and also a budding 25-year-old ace with so many peak years ahead of him. Special players get special contracts and the Dodgers signed two special players in Ohtani and Yamamoto. The fan base is energized and what was already a 100-win roster is greatly improved. 

Losers: Mets and Yankees

For the first time in a very long time, maybe since Dave Winfield, we were poised to have a good old fashioned Mets vs. Yankees free agent bidding war. Steve Cohen's deep pockets vs. the iconic Yankees brand. And in the end, neither won out. The Mets wanted Yamamoto to be the prime-aged centerpiece of their quasi-rebuild and the Yankees wanted Yamamoto to help turn around a team that went 82-80 in 2023 and can see the World Series window closing on the Gerrit Cole/Aaron Judge era. Where the two New York teams will pivot, we do not know, but their options are limited and none come close to Yamamoto in terms of age and talent. What an enormous missed opportunity. It will be a long time until player this young and this good hits free agency.

On this note, it's safe to say Pete Alonso and Juan Soto are winners of the Yamamoto signing as well. The two New York sluggers are both a year away from free agency and their teams suddenly have a lot of money burning a hole in their pockets.

Winner: Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani's $700 million contract includes unprecedented deferrals -- he will be paid only $2 million a year for the next 10 years -- and the deferrals were his idea. Ohtani badly wants to win and agreed to defer most of his salary so the Dodgers could upgrade the rest of the roster around him. (Deferring so much is made possible by the $50-plus-million a year Ohtani makes in endorsements.) The Dodgers used that financial flexibility to bring in Yamamoto, the most coveted free agent pitcher maybe ever given his age and pedigree. If you're Ohtani, this is exactly what you wanted. The Dodgers held up their end of the bargain with these massive deferrals and landed a premium talent. Two when you include Glasnow.

Winners: Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell

Montgomery and Snell are, by a fairly large margin, the two best unsigned free agent pitchers now. Japanese lefty Shota Imanaga and veterans like Lucas Giolito and Marcus Stroman are still available, sure, but Montgomery and Snell stand out from the pack and there are now several teams with Yamamoto money to spend and in desperate need of pitching, particularly the Yankees. Montgomery and Snell are both Scott Boras clients too, ditto Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman. Boras is a winner too. He now controls the top of the free agent market. The biggest signings have to go through Boras.

Loser: Giants and Red Sox

The case can be made the Giants and Red Sox needed Yamamoto more than any team. Even after signing Jung-Hoo Lee, the Giants are desperate to land a star free agent and show they're a destination, not just a team free agents use to drive up the price. The Red Sox badly need pitching and have basically no long-term impact starters other than the impressive Brayan Bello. Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said the team would go "full throttle" this offseason, yet nearly two months since the end of the World Series, their biggest move is adding Tyler O'Neill. At best, the Giants and Red Sox were used to drive up Yamamoto's price. Feels like they were never serious contenders to sign him, and now they have to figure out how to proceed with the rest of their offseason.

Loser: The rest of the NL West

We all know winning the offseason and winning games are very different things, but sheesh, how can the other four NL West teams not feel discouraged by this news? An already stacked Dodgers team has gotten a whole lot better this month. The Diamondbacks pantsed the Dodgers in the NLDS this past season and went to the World Series, though they're still fighting an uphill battle in the division. The Padres have subtracted (Soto, Snell, Josh Hader, etc.) more than they've added this winter. The Giants haven't done anything that really moves the needle. The Rockies? Well, they're the Rockies. The path to the NL West title was going to go through the Dodgers anyway. Now it has to go through Ohtani and Yamamoto too.