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Red Sox News & Links: Sox Go Big On Yamamoto

We’re going to get a decision soon.

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Olympics: Baseball-Men Semifinal - JPN-KOR Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like we’re reaching an endgame with respect to the Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes, and we have reports that the Sox have offered the Japanese ace a contract worth over $300 million. That’s well above most of the contract estimates we were seeing at the start of free agency, when the consensus was that Yamamoto would receive around $200 million. (Matt Schooley, CBS)

It’s not surprising that Yamamoto’s number continues to rise when you consider the teams that apparently remain in contention for his services: the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, and Dodgers are considered the favorites, with the Giants and Phillies lurking. After meeting with teams in California. Yamamoto has traveled to the East Coast and already conducted further meetings with the Mets and Yankees. There are unconfirmed reports that Yamamoto has accepted an invite from the Sox to visit Fenway, but it doesn’t appear that the visit has happened yet. (Mac Cerullo, Boston Herald)

And look, he’s on a plane:

(And don’t worry: “Super Joel” is a reference to his agent Joel Wolfe, not an indication that the Mets brought Billy Joel in to successfully close the deal.)

Yamamoto might not be the only free agent sparking competition between the Sox and Mets. There have been conversations between Justin Turner and the Mets about a deal that might see him return to Queens, where he played before ascending to stardom with the Dodgers. (Gio Rivera, NESN)

If Turner ends up in New York, maybe he and Alex Verdugo can find an apartment together. The new Yankees outfielder officially said goodbye to Red Sox fans via social media. (Ethan Fuller, Boston Globe)

Meanwhile, the nuts and bolts work of building a baseball club continues. Here’s a dive into what new pitching coordinator Justin Willard has been up to. (Jen McCaffrey, The Athletic)