Rival Execs Blast Red Sox For Yoshida “Hefty Overpay”

Major league executives and talent evaluators were left speechless after learning of the 5-year, $90M contract plus $15M posting fee the Boston Red Sox paid for Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida. The team has been absolutely roasted over the “hefty overpay.”

“I have no words,” said one, “I have no idea,” said another. And for those who were able to speak, one exec said “We thought he was worth less than half of what they paid." Whoa. 

ESPN's Kiley McDaniel summed up his calls to 10 different executives by concluding that they all "thought the Red Sox overpaid by a hefty margin."

Expectations, explained McDaniel, were that Yoshida would be in line for a multiyear deal worth anywhere from $35 to $50 million total as a contract. The Red Sox paid $90M. Yikes. 

Everyone agrees that he can hit, as evidenced by his .335 average this season with an OPS over 1.000 in the NPB, with twice as many walks as strikeouts—the sign of great bat control (Yoshida had 80 walks to 40 strikeouts to go with 21 homers). 

But how will that translate to the major leagues? It’s a tricky question. Seiya Suzuki came over last year with better credentials and struggled to adjust to the majors, hitting .262 in his first year with the Chicago Cubs, with a .770 OPS and 14 home runs in 111 games. He got a 5-year, $85M deal. Likely how the Red Sox were able to justify their similar contract for Yoshida. Though Suzuki was 27 at the time, Yoshida will be turning 30 next season.

Despite all the skepticism, it's only fair that we wait and see how Yoshida adjusts before a final judgement can be cast. But any way you slice it, it sounds like the BoSox might have been bidding against themselves in that price range. 

 Photo: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports