Hours after Japanese sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto agreed to terms on a 12-year, $325 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, longtime national baseball writer Barry Bloom visits the Jack Vita Show to break it all down!
Yamamoto, age-25, posted a sub-1.70 ERA in Japan in each of the last three seasons. He is a three-time MVP and three-time pitching Triple Crown winner.
The Dodgers are pairing Yamamoto with newly-acquired, two-time American League MVP Shohei Ohtani. Nine months ago, the duo won the World Baseball Classic as members of the Japanese National Team. Now, they will try to make a run at a World Series title, as teammates once again. In less than two weeks, the Dodgers committed over $1 billion to just two players. Barry and Jack discuss the Dodgers' aggressive offseason and assess the potential risks and rewards attached to both free agent signings, in addition to the acquisition and corresponding extension of Tyler Glasnow.
Will the Dodgers run away with the National League in 2024, and win their first championship in a full, 162-game season since 1989? Will the Dodgers win a handful of titles in the coming years? How much pressure will the club be under in the upcoming season, coming off their big offseason moves?
The San Francisco Giants continue to struggle to land big-time free agents, striking out on Ohtani and Yamamoto. The club did however agree to a six-year, $118 million deal with Korean star Jung Hoo Lee. Elsewhere in the National League West, the San Diego Padres are slashing payroll, dealing Juan Soto, and bidding farewell to free agents Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, Blake Snell and Josh Hader. Meanwhile, the Arizona Diamondbacks are building on to their young core which reached the World Series in 2023, re-signing Lourdes Gurriel Jr., trading for Eugenio Suarez and agreeing to a four-year, $80 million deal with Eduardo Rodriguez. The club has also been linked to free agents JD Martinez and Justin Turner. Barry and Jack cover all things NL West (except for the Colorado Rockies)!
Barry analyzes the Soto trade from both the Padres' and the New York Yankees' perspectives. He discusses where Soto, Trent Grisham and Alex Verdugo will fit into the Yankees' lineup in 2024. Barry and Jack comment on other free agent signings from around the league, including the moves that the Kansas City Royals have made.
Later, Barry shares about his career and his Hall of Fame ballot. Barry used all ten of his votes this year, voting for Adrian Beltre, Todd Helton, Joe Mauer, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Andy Pettitte, Gary Sheffield, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Billy Wagner. Barry makes a compelling argument for both Wagner and Pettitte. Wagner is in his ninth year on the ballot and is gaining momentum. Last year, he received 68.1% of the vote. Pettitte, in his sixth year, has been entirely overlooked. He received just 17.0% last year.
Now 72 years-old, Barry is entering his 49th season as a Major League Baseball writer. He was the San Diego Padres beat writer for the San Diego Tribune from 1982 to 1998, and has since written for Bloomberg News, MLB.com, Forbes and SportBusiness. He currently is a senior writer at Sportico.
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