Red Sox reportedly sign OF Yoshida to 5-year, $90 million deal

The Boston Red Sox are continuing to make waves during Major League Baseball’s winter meetings. According to multiple reports, the Red Sox have agreed to sign Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida to a five-year, $90 million contract. ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report the deal Wednesday night. Yoshida, 29, is still under contract with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball and he has less than nine years of professional experience, the Red Sox have to pay what’s known as a posting fee in order to sign him. Based on MLB rules and Yoshida’s $90 million contract offer, Boston will have to pay the Orix Buffaloes a posting fee of $15.375 million. Under 2017 changes to the posting system, the posting fee for Yoshida is the sum of 20% of the first $25 million of his major league contract ($5 million), 17.5% of the next $25 million ($4.375 million) and 15% of the remaining $40 million on his deal ($6 million). Under old posting system rules in late 2006, the Red Sox bid more than $51 million for the exclusive right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka, a star pitcher for the Seibu Lions who was the most valuable player in Japan’s World Baseball Classic triumph earlier that year. The MLB commissioner’s office announced Tuesday that Yoshida would be posted by the Orix Buffaloes at 8 am Wednesday, which means he had been on the free-agent market for less than 11 hours when Passan first reported the deal at 6:30 pmYoshida is a left-handed hitter who throws right-handed and can play left and right field. He batted .326 with 133 home runs, 467 runs batted in, .419 on-base percentage and .538 slugging percentage across seven NPB seasons. He is a four-time NPB All-Star selection and won the Pacific League’s batting title in 2020 and 2021. This season, Yoshida hit .335 with 21 home runs, 80 walks and just 41 strikeouts in 508 plate appearances. According to Passan, this year’s American League batting champion, Luis Arráez, was the only MLB player who had a lower strikeout rate than Yoshida in 2022. Yoshida has also struck out 307 times across 3,251 appearances in Japan’s top professional baseball league. Yoshida has been a key player on winning teams. He helped the Orix Buffaloes win the 2022 Japan Series, hitting a walk-off home run in Game 5, and batted .350 with two RBI in the 2020 Summer Olympics to help Japan win the gold medal. Red Sox fans may be familiar with the Japanese posting system given the club agreed to spend more than $100 million on another outstanding NPB player 16 years ago. Under old posting system rules in late 2006, the Red Sox bid more than $51 million for the exclusive right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka, a star pitcher for the Seibu Lions who was the most valuable player in Japan’s World Baseball Classic triumph earlier that year. After securing exclusive negotiating rights, which lasted for just 30 days, Boston was able to sign Matsuzaka to a six-year, $52 million contract that could have been worth as much as $60 million if he fulfilled incentives. Matsuzaka played six seasons with the Red Sox and started 116 games, posting a 50-37 record with a 4.52 earned run average and 609 strikeouts. He finished fou rth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2007 and helped Boston win the World Series that year. In 2008, he finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting after posting an 18-3 record, 2.90 ERA and 154 strikeouts. He struggled with injuries, however, over his final four seasons with the club and went 1-7 with an 8.28 ERA in 2012 before becoming a free agent. Earlier Wednesday, multiple reports indicated the Red Sox agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal with closer Kenley Jansen, who has 391 career saves. Jansen, 35, pitched for the Atlanta Braves last season and led the National League with 41 saves. The right-hander played the first 12 seasons of his major league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, making three All-Star teams (2016-18) and helping LA win the World Series in 2020. The addition of Jansen further bolsters Boston’s bullpen after the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a two-year, $17.5 million deal with right-hander Chris Martin on Friday. Martin, 36, was a member of the Braves’ 2021 World Series championship team. He started the 2022 season with the Chicago Cubs but was traded to the Dodgers midseason. With Los Angeles, he posted a 3-1 record and 1.46 ERA across 24 2/3 innings. Of the seven free agents who finished the 2022 season with the Red Sox, only left-handed reliever Matt Strahm has reportedly signed with another team as of Wednesday. Strahm reportedly signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. Boston signed left-handed reliever Joely Rodríguez, who has appeared in five MLB seasons, on Nov. 23. The six Red Sox free agents who are still on the market include shortstop Xander Bogaerts, right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, designated hitter JD Martinez, right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha, outfielder Tommy Pham and left-handed pitcher Rich Hill.

The Boston Red Sox are continuing to make waves during Major League Baseball’s winter meetings.

According to multiple reports, the Red Sox have agreed to sign Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida to a five-year, $90 million contract. ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report the deal Wednesday night.

Yoshida, 29, is still under contract with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball and he has less than nine years of professional experience, the Red Sox have to pay what’s known as a posting fee in order to sign him.

Based on MLB rules and Yoshida’s $90 million contract offer, Boston will have to pay the Orix Buffaloes a posting fee of $15.375 million.

Under 2017 changes to the posting system, the posting fee for Yoshida is the sum of 20% of the first $25 million of his major league contract ($5 million), 17.5% of the next $25 million ($4.375 million) and 15% of the remaining $40 million on his deal ($6 million).

Under old posting system rules in late 2006, the Red Sox bid more than $51 million for the exclusive right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka, a star pitcher for the Seibu Lions who was the most valuable player in Japan’s World Baseball Classic triumph earlier that year.

The MLB commissioner’s office announced Tuesday that Yoshida would be posted by the Orix Buffaloes at 8 a.m. Wednesday, which means he had been on the free-agent market for less than 11 hours when Passan first reported the deal at 6:30 p.m.

Yoshida is a left-handed hitter who throws right-handed and can play left and right field. He batted .326 with 133 home runs, 467 runs batted in, .419 on-base percentage and .538 slugging percentage across seven NPB seasons. He is a four-time NPB All-Star selection and won the Pacific League’s batting title in 2020 and 2021.

This season, Yoshida hit .335 with 21 home runs, 80 walks and just 41 strikeouts in 508 plate appearances.

According to Passan, this year’s American League batting champion, Luis Arráez, was the only MLB player who had a lower strikeout rate than Yoshida in 2022. Yoshida has also struck out 307 times across 3,251 appearances in Japan’s top professional baseball league.

Yoshida has been a key player on winning teams. He helped the Orix Buffaloes win the 2022 Japan Series, hitting a walk-off home run in Game 5, and batted .350 with two RBI in the 2020 Summer Olympics to help Japan win the gold medal.

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

In this photo, Masataka Yoshida attempts to make a sliding catch in the outfield for Japan during the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were played in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Red Sox fans may be familiar with the Japanese posting system given the club agreed to spend more than $100 million on another outstanding NPB player 16 years ago.

Under old posting system rules in late 2006, the Red Sox bid more than $51 million for the exclusive right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka, a star pitcher for the Seibu Lions who was the most valuable player in Japan’s World Baseball Classic triumph earlier that year.

After securing exclusive negotiating rights, which lasted for just 30 days, Boston was able to sign Matsuzaka to a six-year, $52 million contract that could have been worth as much as $60 million if he fulfilled incentives.

Matsuzaka played six seasons with the Red Sox and started 116 games, posting a 50-37 record with a 4.52 earned run average and 609 strikeouts.

He finished fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2007 and helped Boston win the World Series that year. In 2008, he finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting after posting an 18-3 record, 2.90 ERA and 154 strikeouts. He struggled with injuries, however, over his final four seasons with the club and went 1-7 with an 8.28 ERA in 2012 before becoming a free agent.

In this file photo, Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, right, displays his Boston Red Sox jersey at news conference to announce signing ;with the Red Sox baseball team, as he poses with Red Sox  ;principal owner John Henry ,left, and general manager Theo Epstein, Thursday,  Dec. 14, 2006, in Boston.

AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki

In this file photo, Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, right, displays his Boston Red Sox jersey at a news conference to announce his signing with the Red Sox baseball team, as he poses with Red Sox principal owner John Henry, left, and general manager Theo Epstein, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006, in Boston.

Earlier Wednesday, multiple reports indicated the Red Sox agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal with closer Kenley Jansen, who has 391 career saves.

Jansen, 35, pitched for the Atlanta Braves last season and led the National League with 41 saves. The right-hander played the first 12 seasons of his major league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, making three All-Star teams (2016-18) and helping LA win the World Series in 2020.

The addition of Jansen further bolsters Boston’s bullpen after the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a two-year, $17.5 million deal with right-hander Chris Martin on Friday.

Martin, 36, was a member of the Braves’ 2021 World Series championship team. He started the 2022 season with the Chicago Cubs but was traded to the Dodgers midseason. With Los Angeles, he posted a 3-1 record and 1.46 ERA across 24 2/3 innings.

Of the seven free agents who finished the 2022 season with the Red Sox, only left-handed reliever Matt Strahm has reportedly signed with another team as of Wednesday. Strahm reportedly signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. Boston signed left-handed reliever Joely Rodríguez, who has appeared in five MLB seasons, on Nov. 23.

The six Red Sox free agents who are still on the market include shortstop Xander Bogaerts, right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, designated hitter JD Martinez, right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha, outfielder Tommy Pham and left-handed pitcher Rich Hill.

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