Report: A.L. Team Eyeing a Big Overseas Signing This Offseason

Ever since Major League Baseball’s Jon Morosi announced that Masataka Yoshida, the slugging outfielder of the Nippon Professional Baseball league, was planning to request a move to MLB, fans from all teams have been drooling at the thought of their front office signing the 29-year-old all-star.

It’s no surprise, then, that a team with a history of spending money coming off a disappointing playoff elimination would top the list of rumored suitors for Yoshida. As Morosi reported yesterday, it’s -who else?- the New York Yankees who hold the early odds in the battle for Yoshida.
Yoshida has spent his entire career in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes. In his time with the team, Yoshida has been good for an excellent .960 on-base plus slugging over 7 seasons, with a .327 batting average and a .421 on-base percentage. In terms of counting stats, he’s racked up 161 doubles and 133 home runs.

For a Yankees team that’s prioritized strength and size in their outfield over the past few years, the 5’8” Yoshida is quite the change of pace. Considering how all supersized outfielders not named Aaron Judge have struggled with health (Giancarlo Stanton) and performance (Joey Gallo), though, fans and general manager Brian Cashman could be drawn to Yoshida’s bat-to-ball skills; he has just 300 strikes in his 762-game pro career. There’s always concerns about how a player’s production will translate in America when moving from a foreign league, but don’t be too surprised if Yoshida is rocking the pinstripes in left field on opening day. 

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