After days of seeing outfielders sign across Major League Baseball, the Boston Red Sox appear to have finally gotten their man.
The Red Sox reportedly agreed to terms with outfielder Masataka Yoshida on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The deal was confirmed by Jon Heyman of The New York Post, who added the contract stretches across five years and is worth a total of $90 million. The Red Sox reportedly will pay a posting fee of around $15 million to the Orix Buffaloes, Yoshida’s former team.
Passan provided some background on the Japanese standout.
“Yoshida, 29, is an on-base machine who led Nippon Professional Baseball in OPS the last two seasons,” Passan tweeted. “His bat-to-ball skills are absolutely world-class: just 41 strikeouts in 508 plate appearances, with 80 walks. Only Luis Arraez had a lower strikeout rate in MLB last season.”
If the $90 million figure is correct, Yoshida would become the highest-paid position player to make the transition from Japan to the United States — surpassing Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki, who received a five-year, $85 million deal from the Chicago Cubs last offseason.
The New York Yankees reportedly were in on the outfielder as well this offseason, prior to re-signing Aaron Judge.
The left-handed batter recorded a .447 on-base percentage in 119 games (508 plate appearances) last season. He hit 21 home runs with 88 RBIs and struck out 41 times. During his seven seasons in Japan, Yoshida has a career slash line of .326/.419/.538.