KEEP - Masataka Yoshida, OF
The Red Sox have allegedly been taking calls for Yoshida for a few weeks. On a roster that's heavy on outfielders and light on sluggers, shopping Yoshida might make sense to some, especially because his $90 million contract is nothing to sneeze at.
But Boston should absolutely keep Yoshida. He batted nearly .300 for much of last season, and behind a base-stealing machine like Duran, the two will consistently generate runs. Yoshida's production at the plate stalled in the second half of the season and his fielding leaves a lot to be desired, but last season was his first in a new country and league he never played in before. Adjusting to a whole new experience takes time.
Yoshida isn't known for wielding a powerful bat, but he has the lower-half strength that it takes to do so. His start to 2023 wasn't great, but with a few tweaks to his swing, his average rose and he started hitting the ball harder by the end of April. Maybe, with a few more changes, Yoshida could take advantage of Fenway's short right field.
Trading Yoshida so soon after acquiring him would also be a bad look for a Red Sox team that can't afford more bad PR at the moment. Other Japanese players could be deterred by Boston's treatment of Yoshida if he were to be traded after a year with the club, with little time to prove himself. Players have down years all the time. After seeing Yoshida's 2023 World Baseball Classic performance, the Red Sox should be more than happy to hold onto him.