Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida (29) has officially joined the Boston Red Sox of the Major League (MLB).
The Boston club announced Yoshida’s joining on the 16th 안전놀이터 (Korean time). The terms of the contract are 5 years and 90 million dollars, which is the highest ever among Japanese players who have entered the MLB. It is 5 million dollars more than the 5-year, 85 million dollars of Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs), which was the previous record.
Boston pays Yoshida’s former team, the Nippon Professional Baseball Orix Buffaloes, $15,375,000 for posting fees.
Yoshida played 7 seasons for Orix and recorded a batting average of 0.327, 133 homers, 467 RBIs, an on-base percentage of 0.421, and a slugging percentage of 0.539 in 762 games.
He became the Pacific League batting champion twice in 2020 and 2021, and was selected as the Pacific League Best Nine for four consecutive years from 2018. He was also voted an All-Star four times.
Boston has had relationships with several Japanese players before. Even before Yoshida, pitchers such as Hideo Nomo, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Takashi Saito, Koji Uehara, and Junichi Tazawa played for Boston. Yoshida is the first Japanese fielder to play for Boston.
According to MLB.com, Yoshida, who attended the official press conference, said, “Boston is the best of the 30 MLB teams,” and “that’s why I decided to join.”
He continued, “I’m so nervous right now. I want to learn English quickly and speak.”
Yoshida was given the number 7 shirt. MLB,com predicted, “Boston will place Yoshida in left field, Kike Hernandez in center field, and Alex Verdugo in right field to organize the outfield.”
Full Count predicted, “Boston was at the bottom of the American League East Division this year. Yoshida will be the key man of the batting line to rebuild the team next season.”