Baseball: Buffaloes decide to post slugger Masataka Yoshida for MLB move

OSAKA (Kyodo) — Orix Buffaloes outfielder Masataka Yoshida, one of the best hitters in Japanese baseball, will try to move to the major leagues this offseason through the posting system, the club said Thursday.

The Buffaloes decided to post the 29-year-old two-time Pacific League batting champion at his request after the franchise this year won its first Japan Series title since Ichiro Suzuki and the Orix BlueWave triumphed in 1996.

Yoshida, known for his power and consistency, is expected to draw interest from multiple major league clubs.

The left-handed hitter will be made available to the majors after Orix applies by Dec. 15. If signed, the Buffaloes will receive a transfer fee based on the value of his major league contract.

Yoshida, who led the PL in batting average for two years in a row from 2020, batted .335 with 21 home runs and 88 RBIs in 119 games this year.

He also played for Japan at last year’s Tokyo Olympic baseball tournament, contributing to the host nation’s gold-winning campaign.

Yoshida has a .327 career batting average with 133 homers and 467 RBIs over seven seasons, all with the Osaka-based Buffaloes.