Pirates hire free agent Yoshi Tsutsugo

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The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the signing of a one-year contract for infielder Yoshi Tsutsugo for the 2022 season. The announcement was made by General Manager Ben Cherington.

The 30-year-old Tsutsugo hit 0.268 (34-for-127) with eight doubles, eight homers and 25 RBI, while last season he produced a 0.347 OBP and a 0.883 OPS in 43 games with the Pirates after signing with Pittsburgh had August 16th

“We’re excited to bring Yoshi back to Pittsburgh,” said Cherington. “Yoshi brings an extensive track record of offensive performance with power to our line-up. He is a great teammate and an insightful player with a great understanding of the game. During his short time with us, Yoshi has shown his willingness to challenge himself to get better, a trait that will positively affect the younger players in our clubhouse. “

Tsutsugo served on the Tampa Bay Opening Day squad for the second time in his career in 2021 before being nominated for a service on May 11. He was then taken over by the Dodgers on May 15 and played 12 games before being put on the injured list on June 9 with a right calf strain. Tsutsugo was released from Los Angeles on August 14.

Left-handed Tsutsugo played for Yokohama DeNA BayStars in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball Organization from 2010-19 before signing as a free agent with Tampa Bay on December 16, 2019. In his 10 seasons at Yokohama, Tsutsugo produced a .285 batting average, 195 doubles, 205 home runs and 613 RBI in 968 games. He led Nippon Professional Baseball on home runs (44) and shared the lead at RBI (110) in 2016, while finishing fifth in the Central League Most Valuable Player that season.

As a five-time All-Star in Japan, Tsutsugo led the NPB with 139 home runs and finished third with 372 RBI over a period of four years from 2016-19. He also represented Japan at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, where he scored .320 (8-for-25) in seven games with three homers and eight RBI. To make room in the 40-man squad for Tsutsugo, infielder Colin Moran was designated for the mission.


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