How Yoshinobu Yamamoto's decision could impact the Reds' chances in the NL Central

Though the Cincinnati Reds are not in the Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes, his signing could cause a shift in the NL Central.
Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (17) throws a pitch
Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (17) throws a pitch / Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

First, it was Shohei Ohtani. Now, it's Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Hot Stove has been reduced to a simmer while some of the biggest free agents are determining where they'll play in 2024.

And while the Cincinnati Reds were never involved in the Ohtani sweepstakes and are not talking to Yamamoto's representatives, the fallout from these signings could have a major impact on the rest of free agency and the trade market.

One team that could be greatly affected by Yamamoto's decision are the Milwaukee Brewers. The reigning NL Central champions have already lost their manager and one of their top starting pitchers. Are there more moves on the horizon?

If the Dodgers don't sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, it could shake up the NL Central

One of teams vying for Yoshinobu Yamamoto's services are the Los Angeles Dodgers. After deferring a large amount of Shohei Ohtani's contract, LA has the ability to add more big names to their roster.

The Dodgers already traded for Tyler Glasnow. The Cincinnati Reds were said to be in those trade talks as well, but after seeing the return that the Tampa Bay Rays received for both Glasnow and outfielder Manuel Margot, Nick Krall made a very wise decision.

But if Los Angeles misses out on Yamamoto, look for Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers' front office to pursue a trade for Milwaukee Brewers' starting pitcher Corbin Burnes. Jon Morosi of MLB Network believes that if LA fails to land Yamamoto, Burnes will become their primary target.

The Reds NL Central rival could be crippled heading into 2024

Not only might Corbin Burnes be on the way out of Milwaukee this offseason, but shortstop Willy Adames could be traded as well. While Jon Morosi said it's unlikely that both Burnes and Adames will be included in the same deal, the chances that both are traded in the coming weeks is a possibility.

With the free agent market so incredibly thin, it's no shock that a player like Adames would be an attractive addition for a number of teams. Morosi mentioned the Dodgers, but also the San Francisco Giants, as a possible landing destination if Milwaukee looks to sell this winter.

Seeing two of the Brewers best players traded this offseason, plus the absence of Brandon Woodruff, would certainly improve the Cincinnati Reds' chances of winning the division for the first time since 2012.

The St. Louis Cardinals have marginally improved their starting rotation this offseason by signing Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson. But the Chicago Cubs, who many expected to make a splash this offseason, have been idle thus far.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is the next free agent domino to fall, and once he does, baseball fans will begin to see signings at a break-neck pace. Even though the Reds are not part of the Yamamoto sweepstakes, his free agent destiation could have a ripple effect throughout all of Major League Baseball.