The Reds have signed Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama on a three-year contract, the team announced Monday. Nikkan Sports first reported the agreement last month. The deal guarantees Akiyama $21 million. Because Akiyama was a true free agent who did not have to be posted, the Reds do not owe his former team in Japan, the Seibu Lions, a release fee. 

Here are the contract details:

  • 2020: $6 million
  • 2021: $7 million
  • 2022: $8 million

Akiyama, 31, hit .303/.392/.471 with 31 doubles, four triples, 20 homers, 62 RBI, 112 runs and 12 stolen bases last season for Seibu last season. He's a career .301/.376/.454 hitter in nine seasons at the top level in his native country. He looks like a possible top-of-the-order asset thanks to his on-base chops. 

Our own Mike Axisa took a look at what Akiyama could provide an MLB team earlier this offseason.

The move continues an aggressive offseason for the Reds, who are looking to jump back into contention after some rebuilding years. The lineup now could look something like this: 

  1. Akiyama, CF
  2. Joey Votto, 1B
  3. Eugenio Suarez, 3B
  4. Aristides Aquino, RF
  5. Mike Moustakas, 2B
  6. Nick Senzel, LF
  7. Freddy Galvis, SS
  8. Tucker Barnhart, C

The Reds were 75-87 last season while ranking fourth among the 15 National League teams in ERA and first in strikeouts. The issue was mostly the offense. In the NL, the Reds were 12th in average, 12th in OBP, 10th in slugging and 12th in runs scored. 

The pitching again looks to be in pretty good shape heading to 2020, so is the offense up to the task? The additions of Akiyama and Moustakas alone likely won't be enough -- though it's worth noting the Reds' second basemen were awful at the plate last year -- but there is reason for optimism when it comes to internal help. A full season from Aquino could help. Senzel hits his second year and age-25 season, which means he should take a step forward. And it's reasonable to believe Votto has a bounce-back season in him.

Regardless, kudos to the Reds for staying aggressive in hopes of turning things around.