Projections for Red Sox rookie Masataka Yoshida will make Yankees fans nervous


After weeks of hype surrounding a potential fit for the Yankees’ left field vacancy, followed by weeks of clowning about Boston’s appropriation of funds/overpay in the hours before losing Xander Bogaerts, the Masataka Yoshida News Cycle has officially shuffled its feet back to “Regret,” thanks to his latest projections.

The Yankees? Well, they still don’t have a left fielder, and while the five years and $90 million it took for Boston to lure Yoshida would look unwieldy on their payroll, you’d take the hit if his production ends up the way Steamer thinks it will this season.

Remember just a few weeks ago, when analysts were laughing at Chaim Bloom for overpaying Yoshida by double? Remember a few days later, when Scott Boras turned the knife further by excusing himself from Yoshida’s press conference at Fenway Park to close the Carlos Rodón deal?

Financial arguments all feel a bit silly when, a few weeks later, baseball’s cold, hard data projectionists agree Yoshida could post an all-time rookie season with only 57 strikeouts, a remarkable 140 wRC+ and game-changing patience atop a lineup.

In essence, this exactly what the Yankees are missing. Cool that Boston found it.

Yankees fans have to hope numbers are lying on Boston’s Masataka Yoshida

Truly, what happened here? Didn’t everyone agree at the end of December that the Red Sox had paid Hideki Matsui prices for Tsuyoshi Shinjo? Now that Boston is distracted by introducing the Rafael Devers extension, Steamer thought we wouldn’t notice them going, “Uh, oh, yeah, by the way, that massive overpay is going to run away with Rookie of the Year, sorry”?

The Boston lineup is still woefully incomplete without Trevor Story for the first half (if not more), Xander Bogaerts and JD Martinez, but number-crunchers spitting out an all-time season for Yoshida still stings after Yankee fans were pretty quickly able to rationalize passing at the exorbitant price he commanded.

Maybe, with such a huge WAR advantage in left field now, the Red Sox would be more willing to take a deficit at shortstop and try an Isiah Kiner-Falefa trade on for size?

Smash cut to his Steamer projections suddenly looking like Trea Turner as soon as he slips on Boston’s yellow-and-blue jerseys.