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Red Sox, Japanese OF Masataka Yoshida agree to $90M deal

Outfielder Masataka Yoshida led Japan's Orix Buffaloes to a Nippon Professional Baseball Organization title last season. Photo by TSUBAME98/Wikimedia Commons
Outfielder Masataka Yoshida led Japan's Orix Buffaloes to a Nippon Professional Baseball Organization title last season. Photo by TSUBAME98/Wikimedia Commons

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The Boston Red Sox and highly coveted Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida agreed to a five-year, $90 million contract.

Sources told MLB.com, ESPN and The Athletic about the pact Wednesday night. Tanaka, 29, hit .335 with 21 home runs in 119 games last season for the Orix Buffaloes of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball Organization.

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The Red Sox are set to pay the Buffaloes a posting fee of about $15.3 million to acquire Yoshida, who hasn't accrued enough service time to become an international free agent.

Yoshida hit .327 with 161 doubles, seven triples, 133 homers and 467 RBIs in seven seasons with the Buffaloes. The outfielder, known for his plate discipline, logged 80 walks with just 41 strikeouts last season. He hit a career-high 29 homers in 2019.

Yoshida also led the Buffaloes to their first Japan Series crown in 26 years last season. He smashed a walk-off homer to clinch that title.

The Red Sox are expected to play Yoshida in left field, with Kiké Hernández in center field and Alex Verdugo in right field.

Earlier Wednesday, the Red Sox agreed to a two-year, $32 million contract with closer Kenley Jansen. They also lost star shortstop Xander Bogaerts in free agency to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.

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