BOSTON ( Associated Press) – Former Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has some advice for Masataka Yoshida, another Japanese star coming to Fenway Park.
After signing a $90 million, five-year deal with the Red Sox, the 29-year-old outfielder said through a translator on Thursday, “I had his advice: It’s too cold in Boston.” “Obviously you have to wear a jacket.”
Yoshida won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and was Japan’s Pacific League batting leader twice.
He helped his club – the Buffaloes – win Game 5 of the series in Japan in October, coming from behind to seed their rivals with two home runs. Buffaloes were crowned baseball champions in Japan.
“I’ve been a champion in Japan,” he said. “Next season, I want to contribute to a world championship for the Red Sox.”
Yoshida has a .326 batting average and .419 on-base percentage in nine seasons in Japan, all with the Buffaloes.
He explained in English to reporters in Boston on Thursday that he did not know English.
“I’m nervous,” he said. “I want to learn English and I want to speak it to my daughters. I’m so honored to be in Red Sox nation. I’ll do my best, thank you.”
Yoshida was the most impressive signing of a Japanese player since the acquisition of pitcher Matsuzaka in 2007, who was at the center of a bidding dispute in which the Red Sox paid $51 million for the right to trade him and then reached an agreement. has reached with the player for an additional $52 million.
Hiring Yoshida was first mentioned as a possibility during the winter meetings when free-agent shortstop Xander Bogarts agreed to leave the Red Sox for the San Diego Padres.
Bogarts was a centerpiece of Boston’s preseason plans.
To make room for Yoshida on the roster, Boston sent infielder Jeter Downs, who was acquired in a trade that sent former American League MVP Mookie Betts, to the Los Angeles Dodgers to the minor league Angels.