Pirates re-sign Yoshi Tsutsugo


The pirates reportedly re-sign Yoshi Tsutsugo backed by a $ 4 million one-year warranty. The deal is a physical pending. Tsutsugo is represented by Wasserman.

The Bucs and Tsutsugo have been in touch over a possible extension for the past few weeks, so it’s no great surprise that they finally agreed on terms. After the missions with the Rays and Dodgers had not proven to be particularly successful, Tsutsugo closed a major league deal with the Pirates in mid-August. It was a month-long trial run with a team that was already far from the competition, but Pittsburgh could afford to give Tsutsugo game time every day.

The left-hander who beats the first baseman took full advantage when MLBTR’s Steve Adams investigated in late September. Over 144 record appearances in black and yellow, Tsutsugo hit .268 / .347 / .535 and slammed eight home runs. Not only did Tsutsugo harness the brute strength he had shown for a decade as one of the better bats in Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball, but he also cut his Pittsburgh strikeouts significantly. After fanning 29.4% of his 303 record appearances with Tampa Bay and Los Angeles in 2020-21, he went on strike as a pirate on only 22.9% of his trips to the court.

It remains to be seen whether that run was a sign that Tsutsugo had turned a corner late in his second major league season. There’s a real chance he won’t be able to sustain that kind of performance over more than a 43-game sample, and Tsutsugo’s big-player totals (.209 / .309 / .388 in 447 record appearances) aren’t particularly impressive. With a modest $ 4 million guarantee, however, the pirates don’t risk giving the 29-year-old (30 on Friday) the chance to build his late-season success over a longer show. If it continues to perform well in the first few months of next season, the Bucs rebuild could either try to negotiate a longer-term extension or try to move it around next summer’s close of trading.

Tsutsugo has experience in both first base and corner outfield as a big leaguer. In discussing the possibility of getting him back last week, Pittsburgh general manager Ben Cherington suggested that the club would put him primarily at first base if a deal is reached. Now that an extension has been agreed, Tsutsugo appears to take on regular first base duties for the next season.

That could make other left-handers a first baseman Colin Moran superfluous. Moran, who averaged over 359 league record appearances in 2021, is predicted by MLBTR employee Matt Swartz for an arbitration salary of $ 4 million and could be an undisclosed candidate.

Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette It was first reported that the pirates and Tsutsugo had agreed on a one-year contract for $ 4 million.

Image courtesy USA Today Sports.


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