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#pounditTuesday, January 31, 2023

Anonymous executive has scathing take on big Red Sox free agent move

Chaim Bloom on the field

Aug 28, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Chaim Bloom, Chief Baseball Officer of the Boston Red Sox on the field before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox had a rough day on Wednesday as they lost shortstop Xander Bogaerts to the San Diego Padres in free agency. One addition they made may have softened the blow on paper, but the reviews from around the league on the move are not particularly good.

The Red Sox signed Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida to a contract worth $90 million on Wednesday, a deal that surprised many observers. Yoshida is regarded as a good hitter, but the price tag came as a real shock to some league executives.

Kiley McDaniel of ESPN reached out to ten scouts and executives to get their assessments of the Yoshida signing. While those asked liked Yoshida, the perception is that the Red Sox vastly overpaid, with one comment showing just how much others valued Yoshida.

“We thought he was worth less than half of what they paid,” one of the executives told McDaniel.

It only takes one team to go above and beyond to land a player, but the Red Sox clearly feel more bullish about Yoshida than most of the league did. The outfielder is well-regarded as a strong contact hitter with a good plate approach, but there are questions about his defense and ability to generate power. Even in this environment, a player like that is not going to be perceived as being worth $90 million by many.

Boston lost Bogaerts later Wednesday, partly because of their unwillingness to go anywhere near where the Padres did contractually. That makes their deal with Yoshida look even more surprising.

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