Photo credit:Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
Japanese star Masataka Yoshida (a left-handed hitting outfielder) reportedly plans to sign with an MLB team this off-season
By Cam Lewis1 year ago
One of the best baseball players from Japan could be coming overseas to join a Major League club this winter.
According to Gaijin Baseball, Masataka Yoshida of the Orix Buffaloes has stated that he wants to be posted this off-season. None of the bigger, more reputable Japanese baseball sources have confirmed the report, so it’s best to consider this a rumour at this point.
The 29-year-old Yoshida has been one of the best players in Japan since joining Orix in 2016. Over the course of 762 NPB games, the left-handed outfielder has slashed a .327/.421/.539 line with 133 home runs and a wildly impressive 421 walks to 300 strikeouts.
Gaijin Baseball also added that Yoshida’s preference would be to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies, as Bryce Harper is the player that he idolized growing up. Whether there would be mutual interest from the Phillies is unknown at this point.
Last winter, the Blue Jays pursued Seiya Suzuki, the top Japanese free agent available, but he wound up inking a five-year, $85 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. Given the team’s need for a left-handed bat, it would make sense for the Blue Jays to go after Yoshida if he winds up getting posted.
The posting system for Japanese players changed a few years ago and is quite a bit different than it was during the infamous Yu Darvish saga. Back then, teams would make silent auction bids to a player’s NPB team to earn the right to negotiate with that player. Now, players can negotiate with all 30 MLB clubs and their NPB team gets a cut of the contract that they sign.
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