NEW YORK — Yoshinobu Yamamoto will become a free agent Tuesday and major league teams can sign him through 5 p.m. on Jan. 4.

Nippon Professional Baseball notified Major League Baseball that the 25-year-old right-hander’s club, the Orix Buffaloes, was posting him for availability to MLB teams. MLB notified the 30 teams of the posting on Monday, and under the agreement between MLB and NPB the negotiating period starts at 8 a.m. Tuesday and extends for up to 45 days.

Yamamoto was 16-6 with a 1.21 ERA this season, striking out 169 and walking 28 in 164 innings, and has a 70-29 record with 1.82 ERA in seven seasons with Orix. He struck out a Japan Series record 14 in a Game 6 win over Hanshin on Nov. 5, throwing a 138-pitch complete game. Orix went on to lose Game 7.

He pitched his second career no-hitter, the 100th no-hitter in Japanese big league history, on Sept. 9 for the Buffaloes against the Lotte Marines. The game, watched by MLB executives that included New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, extended his scoreless streak to 42 innings.

A two-time Pacific League MVP, Yamamoto also pitched a no-hitter against the Seibu Lions on June 18 last year. His fastball averaged 95 mph and topped out at 96.6 mph in Japan’s semifinal win over Mexico in the World Baseball Classic in March. He threw 20 fastballs, 19 splitters, six curveballs, six cutters and one slider in a 3 1/3-inning relief outing. Batters swung at 11 of his splitters and missed four.

Under the MLB-NPB agreement, the posting fee will be 20% of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. The percentage drops to 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any amount over $50 million. There would be a supplemental fee of 15% of any earned bonuses, salary escalators and exercised options.


CARDINALS: The St. Louis Cardinals began the retooling of their starting rotation by agreeing to a one-year deal with Lance Lynn that brings the right-hander back to the club that drafted him, a person with knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press.

The person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal is pending a physical, said the 36-year-old is guaranteed $11 million. Lynn will make $10 million for the upcoming season. The deal includes a club option for 2025 with a $1 million buyout.

The last time Lynn was on the mound, he gave up four homers in a single inning to the Diamondbacks in the divisional round of the playoffs. Arizona went on to win 4-2 and clinch a three-game sweep that sent them to the NL Championship Series.

The Dodgers declined his $18 million option earlier this month.

His performance in the NLDS was a microcosm of a disappointing year for Lynn, who had been traded from the White Sox at the deadline but couldn’t find his footing in Los Angeles. He allowed 44 homers between the two clubs, the sixth-most in a season in MLB history, not including the home runs that he allowed in the playoffs.

PHILLIES: Aaron Nola wanted to stay with the Philadelphia Phillies.


“I’ve always been a Phillie. It’s the only place we kind of had our eyes set on,” Nola said at Citizens Bank Park, a day after agreeing to a $172 million, seven-year contract. “It’s the most comfortable place for me.”

Nola became the first top-level free agent to reach a deal. The 30-year-old right-hander was drafted seventh overall by Philadelphia in 2014 and has been one of the most durable pitchers since his 2015 big league debut.

After earning $16 million this year in a contract that paid $56.75 million over five seasons, Nola will get yearly salaries of $24,571,428.

Nola would get a $1 million assignment bonus if traded in 2024 or 2025. During the 2025 season, Nola will become a 10-year veteran who has spent five years with his team and will have the right to block trades without his consent.

Nola gets a suite on trips and would earn $50,000 bonuses for making the All-Star team, winning a Gold Glove or becoming League Championship Series MVP. He would receive $100,000 for World Series MVP.

Nola also would get $100,000 for winning a Cy Young Award, $50,000 for finishing second in the voting and $25,000 for third.


BRAVES: While keeping up their search for starting pitching, the Atlanta Braves added another reliever to their bullpen by agreeing to $30 million, three-year contract with right-hander Reynaldo López.

The deal calls for López to make $4 million in 2024 and $11 million in the next two seasons. There is an $8 million club option for 2027, with a $4 million buyout.

The 29-year-old López pitched for three teams in 2023, combining to go 3-7 with a 3.27 ERA and six saves over 68 appearances with the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Guardians.

HALL OF FAME: Adrián Beltré, Joe Mauer, Chase Utley, David Wright, José Bautista and Matt Holliday are among 12 new candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot released.

Todd Helton, who fell 11 votes short this year in ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, and Billy Wagner, who was 27 shy, are among 14 holdovers.

Bartolo Colon, Adrián González, Victor Martinez, Brandon Phillips, José Reyes and James Shields also are making their first appearances on the ballot.


When Scott Rolen was elected this year, Helton got 72.2% of the vote and Wagner 68.1%.

Other holdovers include steroids-tainted Alex Rodríguez (139 votes, 35.7%) and Manny Ramírez (129, 33.2%) along with Andruw Jones (226, 58.1%), Gary Sheffield (214, 55%), Carlos Beltrán (181, 46.5%), Omar Vizquel (76, 19.5%), Andy Pettitte (66, 17%), Bobby Abreu (60, 15.4%), Jimmy Rollins (50, 12.9%), Mark Buehrle (42, 10.8%), Francisco Rodríguez (42, 10.8%) and Torii Hunter (27, 6.9%).

Sheffield will be making his 10th and final BBWAA ballot appearance.

BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of membership are eligible to vote. Ballots must be postmarked by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 23. Anyone elected will be inducted on July 21 along with anyone chosen Dec. 3 by the hall’s contemporary era committee for managers, executives and umpires.

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