December 15, 2022

Red Sox Introduce Outfielder Masataka Yoshida

On Thursday, the Red Sox officially announced the signing of outfielder Masataka Yoshida, 29, to a five-year contract (2023-27), reportedly worth $90 million (the figure was not made official). He will wear #7 and play left field. 

Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom:
He's someone that we like, we've spent a lot of time on. Really, really good hitter, [gives a] quality at-bat and a great talent. . . . There is a foundation here to be able to do some things and be able to handle an at-bat a certain way. The way the swing works, the way that he sees the ball -- those things do tend to translate really well for whatever environment the player is in.
The most common description of Yoshida over the past few weeks leading up to his posting has been "on-base machine". In seven seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball, Yoshida batted .327/.421/.539. Last season, he walked 80 times and posted a .447 OBP, and struck out only 41 times. It won't be surprising to have him at the top of lineup, if not on Opening Day, then shortly thereafter.

Yoshida was open and honest during the press conference:
I'm Masataka Yoshida. I'm 29 years old. I have played for the Orix Buffaloes for seven years. I don't speak English. [I'm] so nervous. I want to learn English, and I want to speak it. I'm honored to be with Red Sox Nation. I'll do my best. Thank you. . . .

Obviously, the Red Sox organization is the best one of all 30 teams. So that's why I chose it. . . . The Green Monster, it's really tall -- I was surprised. . . . I haven't experienced leading off. That's why I said maybe I don't have confidence to hit as a leadoff hitter, but whatever they say, I'll do. I'm going to play hard, that's all. I just want to keep doing the same thing [as] what I did in Japan -- make good contact and get on base.
[Maybe his "obviously" line was not honest, but he's getting $90 million, of course they're great!]

The Red Sox also signed Kenley Jansen to a 2/32 deal. My experience with Jansen is watching him white-knuckle his way through recent postseason innings. He's 35 and heading into his 14th season. I am not expecting to be impressed.

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

[Maybe his "obviously" line was not honest, but he's getting $90 million, of course they're great!]

That was a bit mistranscribed in the MLB reporting.

What Yoshida said (「一番良い評価をしていただいた」) was more like "[I] received the best evaluation [from them]." (The timestamp is around 4:30 in that video.)

The translator threw in "obviously" at the beginning while he was stalling for time and translated it as: "Yeah, uh, obviously, Red Sox organization, uh, evaluate the, the, best one in all thirty, thirty teams, so that's why I choose it."

And MLB rewrote it from there.