Are the Philadelphia Phillies in on Japanese star Masataka Yoshida?

Outfielder Masataka Yoshida #34 of Team Japan (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
Outfielder Masataka Yoshida #34 of Team Japan (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Phillies could be interested in star OF Masataka Yoshida.

Could a Japanese baseball star be on his way to the Philadelphia Phillies? Well, that was the speculation Monday morning across Phillies Twitter.

According to Gaijin Baseball, an English-speaking YouTuber covering Japanese baseball, Masataka Yoshida expressed interest in being posted. The team he wants to go to? The Philadelphia Phillies.

What does it mean for a player to be posted? The Japanese Posting System — per Major League Baseball’s definition — works like this:

"Players from Japan’s top league — Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) — who do not have the requisite nine years of professional experience to gain international free agency can request to be “posted” for Major League clubs."

You can learn more about the posting system from MLB’s glossary.

Yoshida apparently is a huge Bryce Harper fan. But, let’s be honest. Can you blame him?

What kind of player is he? Well, like his favorite player, Yoshida doesn’t shy away from the big moments. Yoshida hit two home runs — including a walk-off in the ninth inning — to lead the Orix Buffaloes to a Game 5 victory in the Japan Series on October 28. The Buffaloes would go on to win the series.

He’s played his entire six-year career with Orix — hitting .326 with a .419 on-base percentage. Over time, the outfielder collected 900 hits in 2,759 at-bats — including 164 doubles, seven triples, and 135 home runs.

Besides the love of Harper, why would a player of Yoshida’s caliber choose the Phillies? Some have speculated — and you can’t blame them — it’s because of Philadelphia’s postseason run. Top players are drawn to success and want a taste of it on baseball’s biggest stage.

That’s the whole reason Harper himself wanted to come to the Phillies in the first place. Could he be united with one of his biggest fans? We shall see.

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