Outfielder Masataka Yoshida and the Boston Red Sox reached a five-year, $90 million deal Wednesday, adding Japan’s most efficient bat of the past two seasons to a rapidly retooling Red Sox, sources told ESPN. team.
Yoshida, 29, reached a deal with the Red Sox on his first day of eligibility after defending Japan Series champion Orix Buffalo signed him. As a corner outfielder, Yoshida hit . 335/. 447/.
Earlier in the day, Boston bolstered one of baseball’s worst bullpens last season by agreeing to a two-year, $32 million deal with closer Kenley Jansen. Yoshida is expected to have a bigger impact — the Red Sox paid more than expected to get him.
In addition to the $90 million due to Yoshida, the team will pay the Buffaloes $15.4 million in posting fees, bringing Boston’s total payout to $105.4 million. The posting system allows players signed with foreign teams to sign with MLB clubs, with MLB teams paying a fee based on a percentage of the guaranteed salary.
Yoshida spent seven seasons with Orix, establishing himself as one of the best players in Japan. For his career, he hit .326/.419/.538 with just 307 strikeouts in 3,251 games. Minnesota Twins starter Luis Alaz was the only player in MLB with a lower strikeout rate than Yoshida last year.