Red Sox, Masataka Yoshida agree to 5-year deal

Outfielder Masataka Yoshida and the Boston Red Sox agreed on a five-year, $90 million deal on Wednesday, sources told ESPN, adding the most prolific hitter in Japan over the past two seasons to a quickly retooled Red Sox team.

Yoshida, 29, penned a contract with the Red Sox on the first day he was eligible to sign after being sent off by the Orix Buffaloes, reigning Japan Series champions. Yoshida, a corner outfielder, hit .335/.447/.561 with 21 homers, 80 walks and just 41 strikeouts in 508 plate appearances this year.

Earlier in the day, Boston agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal with Kenley Jansen, who will bolster a bullpen that was one of baseball’s worst last season. Yoshida is expected to have an even bigger impact – and the Red Sox paid a higher than expected price to win it.

In addition to the $90 million due to Yoshida, the team will pay the Buffaloes a $15.4 million booking fee, bringing Boston’s total spend to $105.4 million. The secondment system allows players signed to foreign teams to sign with the Major League Baseball club, with the MLB team paying a fee based on a percentage of guaranteed salary.

Yoshida spent seven seasons at Orix and distinguished himself as one of Japan’s best players. Over the course of his career, he has hit .326/.419/.538 with just 307 strikeouts in 3,251 plate appearances. Luis Arraez, the Minnesota Twins leadoff, was the only player in MLB last year with a lower strikeout rate than Yoshida.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/35206077/sources-red-sox-masataka-yoshida-agree-5-year-deal Red Sox, Masataka Yoshida agree to 5-year deal

Emma Bowman

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