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Masataka Yoshida, Red Sox Reportedly Agree to 5-Year, $90M Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 7, 2022

OSAKA, JAPAN - MARCH 10: Outfielder Masataka Yoshida #34 of Japan warms up prior to the game two between Japan and Mexico at Kyocera Dome Osaka on March 10, 2019 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox and Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida agreed to a five-year deal worth $90 million on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Per that report, the deal will include a posting fee of $15.4 million to Yoshida's former club, NPB's Orix Buffaloes.

Yoshida, 29, hit .336 with 21 homers, 89 RBI, 57 runs and a 1.007 OPS in 121 games last season. Across seven seasons with Orix he's slashed .327/.421/.539 and won a Japan Series championship this past year.

He struck out just 42 times across 515 plate appearances last season.

"He has a talent to hit," Team Japan manager Hideki Kuriyama told MLB Network's Jon Morosi. "... He could hit for distance. He can hit for contact. He can adjust. He has a smaller build but the ability and talent to do anything."

Wednesday has been a big day for the Red Sox, with the team also signing closer Kenley Jansen to a two-year, $32 million contract. He led the National League with 41 saves for the Atlanta Braves last season, the eighth time in his career he's posted 30 or more saves.

And there were reports that the Red Sox were advancing in negotiations to bring back star free agent Xander Bogaerts:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Red Sox are in heavy discussions with star shortstop Xander Bogaerts

Sean McAdam @Sean_McAdam

One Red Sox person, asked by someone today whether the Sox would re-sign Bogaerts, answered without hesitation: “Yes.”

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe

Momentum between the Red Sox and Xander Bogaerts according to a source.

But Yoshida will be a major addition, bolstering an outfield that saw its fair share of turnover last year, outside of left fielder Alex Verdugo. Kiké Hernández battled injury, Jackie Bradley Jr. was released in August and young prospect Jarren Duran continued to struggle at the MLB level.

Yoshida should lock down one of the corner-outfield positions and potentially the leadoff spot in the Boston order, too.

"He's someone that we really like and spent a lot of time on," Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters before Yoshida's signing went public. "Really, really good hitter, quality at-bat. Great talent."