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Report: Yankees Purposely Holding No. 18 for Prized Free Agent

Photo by MLB on Fox

Per Andy Martino of SNY, the New York Yankees purposely did not issue number 18 last year and have been saving it for Yoshinobu Yamamoto to possibly claim. The number 18 is traditionally considered the "ace" number in Japan. Yamamoto wore 18 with the Orix Buffaloes as well as in the World Baseball Classic for Samurai Japan.

It's no secret that both the Yankees and Mets have been heavily connected with Yamamoto, joining a slew of other clubs. This tells us that the Yankees have been involved with Yamamoto for at least the last two years. Photos and videos surfaced of Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, attending Yamamoto's pitching performances in person.

The Yankees pitching rotation was not by any means bad last season, but being heavily riddled by injuries and poor performance, Yamamoto is a pitcher the Yankees could benefit from. The Yankees have been searching for a strong number two behind their ace, Gerrit Cole, there's not many pitchers better to slide in behind him than Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

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