The Boston Red Sox on Thursday announced the signing of Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida. Yoshida joins the Red Sox on a five-year contract through the 2027 season.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan and the New York Post’s Jon Heyman previously reported the agreement Dec. 7.
“He’s someone that we really like and spent a lot of time on,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom previously told reporters in reference to Yoshida. “Really, really good hitter, quality at-bat. Great talent.”
To make room for Yoshida on the 40-man roster, Boston designated infielder Jeter Downs for assignment. Downs, 24, made his major league debut for the Red Sox in 2022 after he was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020.
Yoshida, 29, played 762 games over seven seasons with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. The left-handed hitter batted .327 with a .421 on-base percentage and .539 slugging percentage during that span. Yoshida also hit 133 home runs with 467 RBIs. A four-time NPB All-Star and two-time Pacific League batting champion, Yoshida led the league in OPS in both 2021 (.992) and 2022 (1.008).
Yoshida, a native of Fukui, Japan, also earned a Gold Medal with Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and helped lead Orix to the 2022 Japan Series title. He becomes the 10th player born from Japan to play for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox will hold a press conference to introduce Yoshida on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET. You can watch the press conference live on NESN.