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BASEBALL | Masataka Yoshida Agrees to a Five-Year Deal with the Red Sox

Longtime Orix Buffaloes star Masataka Yoshida brings his talents to the AL East club after helping the NPB team win its first Japan Series title since 1996.



Masataka Yoshida, seen hitting a two-run home run for the Orix Buffaloes in the ninth inning in Game 5 of the 2022 Japan Series, will play for the Boston Red Sox next year. (Ⓒ SANKEI)

This article first appeared on SportsLook, JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website.

Veteran outfielder Masataka Yoshida has accepted a five-year contract offer from the Boston Red Sox, according to published reports.

The deal is worth $90 million USD (¥12.34 billion JPY), according to MLB, which announced the deal on Wednesday, December 7. According to MLB.com, the Red Sox will also pay a $15.4 million USD (¥2.1 billion JPY) posting fee to the Buffaloes.

Upon his request, Orix, which selected Yoshida in the first round of the 2015 NPB Draft, posted him on December 7. This enabled him to negotiate for a deal with MLB's 30 teams.

Yoshida is represented by high-profile agent Scott Boras, whose client list includes MLB stars Bryce Harper, Xander Bogaerts, Gerrit Cole and Jose Altuve, among others.

The 29-year-old Yoshida played seven seasons for NPB's Orix Buffaloes, helping lead the franchise to a Japan Series title in October. It was Orix's first title since 1996.

In Game 5, Yoshida blasted a solo home run in the fifth inning and added a walk-off, two-run shot in the ninth against the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.

A four-time Pacific League All-Star, Yoshida won back-to-back batting titles in 2020 (.350) and 2021 (.339). In 2022, he hit .335 with 21 home runs and 88 RBIs. He is a career .327 hitter. What's more, he has an impressive .421 on-base percentage.

Yoshida is a terrific contact hitter. He has 300 strikeouts in 2,703 career at-bats.

Read the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward's [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven, and find him on JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website, SportsLook.