Red Sox sign Masataka Yoshida

JM3

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I agree it would be silly to trade Hernandez, but Theo did sign Arroyo to a team friendly multi year deal in January of 2003 and traded him two months later for Wily Mo. Nothing long term happened with free agents - people acknowledge that unless you get a no trade clause, teams will do what they will.
Interesting read. He did specifically say in there that he wasn't promised he wouldn't be traded. Apparently it was Hoyer & Cherington.

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/story/sports/2006/01/20/sox-re-sign-arroyo-for/50360379007/
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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On a tough day for the Red Sox, I do think this was a really good baseball move and a good signing.

There are certainly questions of how Yoshida will translate from the NPBL and they've valid. However, I think it's a much better bet to take on a player with his skill set translating to the majors than it is to bet on players whom have been injured for large parts of their career BEFORE the age of 30 to somehow translate to more durability after age 30.

The questions of players - specifically hitters - coming over from Japan are legitimate and warranted. But it's really tough to think of position players whom couldn't stay on the field in their 20s who did in their 30s. I'd much rather bet 5/$90 on Yoshida to translate than I would 3/$45 on Haniger or 5/$100 (projections from FanGraphs) on Nimmo to stay on the diamond.

Good deal.
 

chawson

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I wonder if they've factored the return in a Verdugo's trade value as part of the Yoshida deal somehow. He'd be a decent fallback for those who miss out on Nimmo/Benintendi.

One thing the Sox could do now is sign Brantley as their full-time DH. That would really triple down on the philosophy of not chasing pitches out of the zone (Casas, Yoshida), and it would take another left fielder off the board, helping thin the market for a Verdugo deal. Makes the lineup pretty left-handed and we'd still need to figure out right field, but there's still a lot of time left.
 

Jack Rabbit Slim

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I wonder if they've factored the return in a Verdugo's trade value as part of the Yoshida deal somehow. He'd be a decent fallback for those who miss out on Nimmo/Benintendi.

One thing the Sox could do now is sign Brantley as their full-time DH. That would really triple down on the philosophy of not chasing pitches out of the zone (Casas, Yoshida), and it would take another left fielder off the board, helping thin the market for a Verdugo deal. Makes the lineup pretty left-handed and we'd still need to figure out right field, but there's still a lot of time left.
With X gone, they really need a RHH DH to balance out the lineup. I was on the Brantley train as well but Yoshida seems like a reasonable facsimile.
 

jon abbey

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Can any subscribers give us a synopsis of some of the comments from MLB insiders?
They make it very hard to cut and paste, but Kiley McDaniel says (same as Keith Law in The Athletic) that they intentionally didn't put Suzuki in their top 50 FAs this winter, and that industry expectations were that he would probably end up with a $35-50M total deal.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Ouch….

No one show this to Chaim. He will be despondent.

I will say, his signing so instantaneously does make you at least wonder if it was a very generous overpay relative to market expectations.
Are you saying that we should refer to him as "Y"? (Moving on from X.)
 

Tokyo Sox

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Can any subscribers give us a synopsis of some of the comments from MLB insiders?
Weird, I'm not an ESPN Insider but the article is not behind a paywall for me. Anyway it's a big dumb article not worth your time. McDaniel says "Yoshida didn't appear in my free agency rankings going into the winter as most execs I spoke with didn't think any foreign players other than Kodai Senga were likely to hit the market and be good enough to make the top 50" and then he also doesn't list Yoshida among the 25 or so other "potential soon could be free agents" list either. And Yoshida has slashed well better than 300/400/500 for his career in the 2nd best league in the world? It's ridiculous.

So right off the bat it's dumb, but gets dumber/hatchet jobbier.

McDaniel points to his own FA contract guesses, which I guess he forgot were super low. Of just his top 5 that have already signed, he underestimated by a combined 10/243. Which is to say the AAV of his underestimates is 33% higher than the AAV of Yoshida's contract. Maybe the market is just hot, guy?

It also seems difficult to premise an article on "what a ridiculous overpay for Yoshida!" on the same day that Bogaerts signed for 11/280. McDaniel mentions the Bogaerts deal, but only in the context of wondering what the Red Sox actual plan is these days by saying, "Xander Bogaerts is now headed to the San Diego Padres on a whopping $280 million deal that blew away Boston's best offer."

Look maybe the guy will adjust well and maybe he won't. But the article seems agenda-driven.
 

E5 Yaz

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It also seems difficult to premise an article on "what a ridiculous overpay for Yoshida!" on the same day that Bogaerts signed for 11/280. McDaniel mentions the Bogaerts deal, but only in the context of wondering what the Red Sox actual plan is these days by saying, "Xander Bogaerts is now headed to the San Diego Padres on a whopping $280 million deal that blew away Boston's best offer."

Look maybe the guy will adjust well and maybe he won't. But the article seems agenda-driven.
It was "Stomp on the Red Sox Day" at espn.com ... check out the "losers" of the Winter Meetings section of this
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/35204826/mlb-winter-meetings-winners-losers-biggest-takeaways
 

BaseballJones

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So far the Sox have lost Bogaerts but picked up Martin, Yoshida, and Jansen. All three pickups really should help the team a lot, but obviously losing X hurts a lot.
 

JM3

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I thought this scouting report was kind of interesting:

https://www.sportsinfosolutions.com/2022/11/17/npb-free-agent-scouting-report-masataka-yoshida/

Obviously this:

Yoshida has a bit of an uppercut in his swing, which allows him to maximize his power output from his smaller frame. Listed at 5’8” and 176 lbs, his frame is reminiscent of Dustin Pedoria’s and, like Pedroia, Yoshida has to put everything he has into his swings.
But for some reason I thought this was fun considering his position & the Red Sox stadium...

In the range and positioning component of DRS he has rated above-average on “shallow” plays in each year, while scoring negatively on “deep” plays in each year. If a team wants to use him in the outfield, they could dig deeper to determine how to optimally position him in left field in hopes of masking his deficiencies.
 

johnlos

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Weird, I'm not an ESPN Insider but the article is not behind a paywall for me. Anyway it's a big dumb article not worth your time. McDaniel says "Yoshida didn't appear in my free agency rankings going into the winter as most execs I spoke with didn't think any foreign players other than Kodai Senga were likely to hit the market and be good enough to make the top 50" and then he also doesn't list Yoshida among the 25 or so other "potential soon could be free agents" list either. And Yoshida has slashed well better than 300/400/500 for his career in the 2nd best league in the world? It's ridiculous.
These top-50s make no sense. As I posted earlier in this thread Yoshida's OPS was almost identical to Suzuki's in their last 3 years in Japan (and Yoshida's division is considered to be harder). You really telling me a guy with a 1.000 OPS at AAAA (Kiley's words) isn't a better FA bet than Justin Turner, Matt Carpenter, and Andrew Chafin? I can see the argument that he doesn't crack the top-25 but you're also not likely to get a top-25 guy for less money (or without losing draft picks, which Boston clearly values very highly).
 

Murderer's Crow

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Well to be fair, Bloom thought Xander was worth about half of what he was paid.
The weird thing about this is that if the reports of what they offered Xander are true, Bloom was valuing one of the best shortstops in the game at $70 or $80m more than a guy who has never swung a bat in the majors. I find that really weird.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Mets are going to pay Nimmo $162 million over the next 8 years, which supports my feeling good about signing Yoshida.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Seeing what Nimmo just signed for makes me like this deal even more. He’s had 2 healthy seasons out of 5 before age 30 and got 8yrs / $160m.

I find it odd to think in one deal (well, two deals) “we nailed this” and one “wow did we screw that up” deal in the same day.

Yoshida may work out and he may not, I have no idea, but it’s a better risk to take than depending on Nimmo, Haniger or similar to be more durable after age 30 than they were before.
 

Murderer's Crow

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Seeing what Nimmo just signed for makes me like this deal even more. He’s had 2 healthy seasons out of 5 before age 30 and got 8yrs / $160m.

I find it odd to think in one deal (well, two deals) “we nailed this” and one “wow did we screw that up” deal in the same day.

Yoshida may work out and he may not, I have no idea, but it’s a better risk to take than depending on Nimmo, Haniger or similar to be more durable after age 30 than they were before.
Isn't Yoshida also injury prone? From KLaw ""Yoshida didn’t even make my top 50 free agents, even though he was eligible, as he’s an often-injured outfielder whose power output in Japan seems unlikely to carry over to MLB."
 

johnlos

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Isn't Yoshida also injury prone? From KLaw ""Yoshida didn’t even make my top 50 free agents, even though he was eligible, as he’s an often-injured outfielder whose power output in Japan seems unlikely to carry over to MLB."
According to BRef, games played the last 5 years:
143, 143, 120, 112, and 121.
According to https://www.thebaseballcube.com/content/minor_team/10333/, Orix games played in that span:
138, 136, 113, 125, and 141.

Dunno why he played more games than Orix played a few of those years (since they didn't make the playoffs those years), but take-home is he's basically missed the equivalent of two 15 day DL stints in 5 years. Keith Law's been lazy with his research.
 

pokey_reese

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Key point in that article:

But given the other options available this winter, could that money have been spent more efficiently? Brandon Nimmo can play center field, is also 29, and is coming off of a 5.4 WAR season for the New York Mets, figuring to cost somewhere in the $125-150 million area (although, in this market, maybe that number rises).
...welp, Nimmo ended up getting 8 years /$162 million, coming off a career year in which he hit *checks notes* 16 HRs. It seems pretty clear that the Red Sox aren't the only ones who underestimated the market this year. Contracts getting thrown around are insane.
 

Tokyo Sox

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According to BRef, games played the last 5 years:
143, 143, 120, 112, and 121.
According to https://www.thebaseballcube.com/content/minor_team/10333/, Orix games played in that span:
138, 136, 113, 125, and 141.

Dunno why he played more games than Orix played a few of those years (since they didn't make the playoffs those years), but take-home is he's basically missed the equivalent of two 15 day DL stints in 5 years. Keith Law's been lazy with his research.
I won't try to figure out where the games #'s came from but there are 143 games in the NPB regular season. Orix has thus played 143 games each of the last 5 regular seasons except the Covid-shortened 2020, when they had 120 regular season games. Yoshida played in every game (143, 143, 120) from 2018-2020, then missed some time in each of 2021 & 22, playing 110 & 119 respectively. This year he injured his left leg (hammy I think) on May 17th, was deactivated, came back on June 3rd, and then played more or less the entire 2nd half.
 

Rovin Romine

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...welp, Nimmo ended up getting 8 years /$162 million, coming off a career year in which he hit *checks notes* 16 HRs. It seems pretty clear that the Red Sox aren't the only ones who underestimated the market this year. Contracts getting thrown around are insane.
Enrique Hernandez stares in the mirror this morning and wonders.
 

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I guess the question is do we trust Bloom's/ the Sox's talent evaluation on how well Yoshida is going to make the transition to MLB to warrant blowing everyone out of the water like this and going to $90M? The NPB highlights and stats are one thing, but the history of players making the jump overall isn't good, and it doesn't look like he'll have a lot of defensive value either.

I guess this looks like a better move at less $; I really hope we're not dealing with Rusney Castillo 2.0...
 

mfried

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Adam Jones, who previously spent 14 seasons in the MLB and made five All-Star appearances, spent a season with the Buffaloes and was formerly a teammate of Yoshida in Japan. The now 37-year-old retired outfielder didn’t just issue kind words about Yoshida, Jones went as far as to provide one extremely noteworthy comparison to a superstar player.
“I say he’s like the Japanese Juan Soto,” Jones told Will Sammon of The Athletic in November. “He can hit the ball to all fields, all speeds. Like Juan Soto, he hits everything — and walks; and doesn’t swing outside of the zone.”
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I wonder if the change in MLB's rules regarding the shift played into the decision to pursue Yoshida. If you have a player who can hit to all fields, and the rules now state that there have to be two infielders on either side of second base when the pitch is delivered, that should open up more field area to hit the ball to.
 

tims4wins

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I wonder if the change in MLB's rules regarding the shift played into the decision to pursue Yoshida. If you have a player who can hit to all fields, and the rules now state that there have to be two infielders on either side of second base when the pitch is delivered, that should open up more field area to hit the ball to.
Wouldn't the old rules actually make a player like this more valuable? Like if they shifted him, he could go the other way. To me the new rule benefits dead pull hitters.
 

OCD SS

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I don't see why everyone thinks the shift ban is going to drastically alter the game. A lot of baseball has been played without shifts, some of it fairly recently. I think we can look back to the value of players maybe from 2005 - 2015 to get a broad sample, and I don't think we'd see a drastic change.

It's really going to come down to if Yoshida can hit MLB pitching; changes to the shift rules are probably going to account for less discrepancy in his raw numbers than park effects...
 

JM3

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Wouldn't the old rules actually make a player like this more valuable? Like if they shifted him, he could go the other way. To me the new rule benefits dead pull hitters.
He was actually one of the few players in Japan who regularly faced shifts so maybe he tends to pull grounders & be line to line on balls in the air. In general, I think that's right, though.
 

grepal

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Doesn't move the needle, Sox are still a last place team. Good for him though. No way this team competes even in the era of expanded wildcard.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Yo La Tengo, I take it it's the LFer playing short RF there?
I think so. I also think the LF could be positioned at the 2B spot, with the 2B moving to short RF [EDIT: it is not clear to me if any player must be positioned as a 2B, or if the player designated as the 2B on the lineup card must be positioned in that 2B spot.} But I don't think a team could put the LF at the 3B spot and then move the 3B to the other side of the infield. It is also not clear to me at what point of the windup/pitch an infielder can move on to the outfield grass or cross the midpoint line behind second base.

  • The four infielders must be within the outer boundary of the infield when the pitcher is on the rubber.
  • Infielders may not switch sides. In other words, a team cannot reposition its best defender on the side of the infield the batter is more likely to hit the ball.
  • If the infielders are not aligned properly at the time of the pitch, the offense can choose an automatic ball or the result of the play.
  • This rule does not preclude a team from positioning an outfielder in the infield or in the shallow outfield grass in certain situations. But it does prohibit four-outfielder alignments.
 
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NJ_Sox_Fan

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Key point in that article:



...welp, Nimmo ended up getting 8 years /$162 million, coming off a career year in which he hit *checks notes* 16 HRs. It seems pretty clear that the Red Sox aren't the only ones who underestimated the market this year. Contracts getting thrown around are insane.
Crazy amount for Nimmo.
 

The Gray Eagle

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I really, really hope he gets off to a good start, because if he doesn't hit in April, he is going to be a target for the media and a lot of fans as the symbol of how Bloom screwed up the offseason.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Thank you @johnlos and @Tokyo Sox, I was going to post something similar this morning and you both beat me to it! I don't expect "anyone" to play 162 games any more, especially not with the shorter IL stints now, if someone has the flu and is going to miss three games, you're almost better served putting them on the IL at present. In his "injured" seasons, Yoshida played approximately 80-85% of his team's games. In one of the seasons I'm crediting Nimmo as "being healthy" he played in about 85% of his team's games.

Yoshida might suck relative to MLB pitching. He might tear his ACL getting off the plane, I don't know. But his injury history to this point has been NOTHING like Haniger's or Nimmo's. I don't at all doubt that Law said that, but have no idea what he is talking about.

I'm not a big fan of the vast majority of moves Bloom has made (or not made) in specific starting with the 2021-22 off-season, this past trade deadline, nor so far this off-season. Were I in charge, I'd have made a change in direction in the front office by now, but when he makes a move that I think is sound, sensible and a good baseball move (Yoshida and Jansen), I'm going to credit him for that, just as I would critique those I disagree with.
 

walt in maryland

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I wonder if they've factored the return in a Verdugo's trade value as part of the Yoshida deal somehow. He'd be a decent fallback for those who miss out on Nimmo/Benintendi.

One thing the Sox could do now is sign Brantley as their full-time DH. That would really triple down on the philosophy of not chasing pitches out of the zone (Casas, Yoshida), and it would take another left fielder off the board, helping thin the market for a Verdugo deal. Makes the lineup pretty left-handed and we'd still need to figure out right field, but there's still a lot of time left.
Love Brantley. He hits lefties as well as righties, doesn't strike out, and would just rake at Fenway (as he has everywhere). Doesn't have to DH full-time. He can certainly handle LF, especially at home.