It feels like it’s been forever since the news broke that the Cincinnati Reds had come to an agreement with outfielder Shogo Akiyama. Well it is now official as the team announced a 3-year deal worth $21M. Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the deal breaks down as $6M for 2020, $7M for 2021, and $8M for 2022.
The time from when we found out about the agreement until today was longer than usual, but the timing was rather important. The news broke late on December 30th in Cincinnati, and December 31st in Japan (stupid time zones!). There was no need for everyone to rush things and not spend the New Year with their family. Spring training doesn’t start for five more weeks (Pitchers and Catchers report on February 13th).
After arriving in Cincinnati, Shogo Akiyama had a physical, and he passed – before signing his 3-year contract with the Reds. While there wasn’t much reason to be concerned that he wouldn’t pass, the outfielder was recovering from a broken toe after being hit by a pitch.
We’ve written a lot about Shogo Akiyama in the last week. First we took a look at how the projections from Clay Daventport and Rotowire projected his offense, both for 2020 and for 2020-2022. Then we got to take a look at how Dan Szymborki’s ZiPS projections felt the Reds new outfielder would perform over the life of his contract.
Between the three systems the biggest difference seems to be in the projection of how much power he will maintain. ZiPS doesn’t see Akiyama keeping as much power as the Clay Davenport projection does – while the Rotowire projection was only for the one season, it was the highest overall on the Reds first Japanese player.
The move will require a corresponding roster move, but it has not yet been announced.