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Report: Mets' Cohen met with Yamamoto in Japan; Yankees to host FA next week


New York Mets owner Steve Cohen flew to Japan last week to meet with Yoshinobu Yamamoto, sources told The Athletic's Will Sammon.

The star free-agent pitcher is also expected to meet with the New York Yankees in the United States on Monday, a source told MLB Network's Jon Morosi.

The Yankees are one of the top contenders to sign Yamamoto, alongside the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs, Morosi reports.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised Yamamoto at winter meetings on Tuesday when asked about the 25-year-old.

"Our reports are that this guy is really good, as I think the industry sees it the same way," Boone said, according to's Bryan Hoch. "It feels like there's going to be a lot of suitors for him. But I feel quite confident that he is going to come over here and be a really special top-of-the-rotation-type pitcher."

Yamamoto is one of the most sought-after pitchers available in free agency this offseason. He enjoyed a spectacular seven-year career with NPB's Orix Buffaloes. Yamamoto won three straight Sawamura Awards as Japan's top pitcher and posted a sparkling 1.82 ERA in 172 career NPB appearances.

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