5 Red Sox on Thin Ice At Quarter Mark of 2024 Season

May 3, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) hits a
May 3, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) hits a / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Masataka Yoshida

Another player whose name was tossed around in offseason trade rumors, Masataka Yoshida was a surprising trade candidate after only his first season in MLB. Per reports, the Red Sox weren't "actively shopping" Yoshida in the offseason, but were listening to offers.

In his first MLB season, Yoshida hit .289/.338/.445 with 15 homers and 72 RBI. He finished second on the team in batting average and hits, third on the team in RBI. Yoshida often featured in the middle of Boston's lineup.

So, why might Craig Breslow and co. might want to move Yoshida? Well, he cannot play the field at an MLB level. Now, is this Yoshida's fault? Or should the Red Sox maybe have done a little more homework before inking him to a five-year, $90 million deal to bring him stateside without having played an MLB game? I would lean toward the latter. Manager Alex Cora didn't shy away, stating that the team "would prefer not" to use Yoshida in the field. He has only played one inning in the field in 2024.

Yoshida's stranglehold at designated hitter has limited Cora's flexibility to use the DH position to rotate position players through for maintenance days, something that the manager clearly would prefer to do. This resulted in a stretch where Yoshida rode the bench for several straight games, leading to questions about his future in Boston. Currently, he is on the injured list with a thumb injury, retroactive to April 29.

Boston will almost assuredly have to eat a significant amount of the remaining four years and $74.4 million on his deal, but if a team is comfortable with utilizing Yoshida as their full-time designated hitter and puts stock in his 2023 season, they may be willing to pay up.