4 big-time free agents who will be too expensive for the Cubs: #2 - Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Speaking of pitchers who could command a deal north of $200 million, prized Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto is poised to make the jump from the NPB this winter and will be one of the most sought-after international free agents in recent years.
In what might prove to be his final start in Japan this weekend, Yamamoto set a Japan Series record with 14 strikeouts in a 138-pitch complete game win. That level of dominance will surely turn heads over here across the league, but so will that pitch count - and not in a good way.
Just 25 years old, Yamamoto is young enough that a deal in excess of five years is almost a certainty. He's one of the most highly-regarded arms in Japan, and with good reason. In nearly 1,000 innings of work, the right-hander has a sub-2.00 ERA and 986 strikeouts. With big market teams like the Dodgers and Mets in dire need of starting pitching, there's little question he'll get paid this winter - it just won't be by the Cubs.