3. Masataka Yoshida
One of the more intriguing available players this Major League Baseball offseason is outfielder Masataka Yoshida, who reportedly will be posted by Nippon Professional Baseball’s Orix Buffaloes in Japan.
Yoshida seems like the least likely of the three names who would sign with the Phillies this offseason, however — despite his obvious fandom of Harper. Yoshida has worn Harper’s former No. 34, but even so, money will inevitably talk.
The 29-year-old has consistently produced eye-catching numbers for the Buffaloes in recent years, especially this past season. In 119 games, Yoshida slashed .335/.447/.561 with 21 home runs, 88 RBI, 80 walks and just 41 strikeouts across 508 plate appearances. Teams like the New York Yankees — who could lose slugger Aaron Judge in free agency this offseason — would undoubtedly outbid the Phillies for Yoshida.
The Phillies front office — led by President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski — has some critical decisions to make in the coming weeks. A move one way or the other could either significantly help or hurt their chances to repeat as National League champions and take the next step to become World Series champions.
Gallo, McCutchen and Yoshida are just three of the many routes Dombrowski could choose from as he fills out the starting lineup. Not to mention, Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts are among the rumored names in the mix to replace Jean Segura in the Phillies infield. Plus, if the club signs McCutchen on a likely cheap and team-friendly deal, there would be more funds allocated to filling other holes on the roster.
The offseason is just a few weeks old, and will surely only get more interesting as time goes on.