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Friday, November 26, 2021

Pirates sign Yoshi Tsutsugo to one-year, $4 million deal

Yoshi came over to the Bucs in August after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers and immediately became a fan favorite, flashing power that Pittsburg’s lineup sorely lacked by swatting 8 homers in 43 games. He finished his year with the Bucs by hitting .268 with 25 RBIs, but he had a slugging percentage of .535 sparked by those dingers and also 8 doubles and a triple.

The 30-year-old left-handed batter now has a chance to see if those power numbers will extrapolate over a full year with the Bucs, though the challenge will be to figure out exactly where he is the most comfortable in the field. The slow-footed Tsutsugo is regarded as generally a poor outfielder, so getting that bat in the lineup every day will likely require some time at first base, which could be open depending on what the club decides to do with Colin Moran (trade?).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 26, 2021 at 12:11 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates, yoshitomo tsutsugo

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   1. sanny manguillen Posted: November 26, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6054664)
They could figure they might need a DH. This could be a significant move from the Pirates. The last couple years they've seemed to avoid upside like the plague, while holding on to crappy but more reliable players. Yoshi looks like they may have decided they can take on a little more risk.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: November 26, 2021 at 05:40 PM (#6054696)
Tsutsugo is 30 ... "upside" is not the term to use here. It's also a 1-year contract so the Pirates aren't committing to his upside, they're bringing in a cheap, hopefully un-crappy vet as a placeholder (even with that slash line, he was replacement level in Pitt thanks to defense). Tsutsugo couldn't beat out Ji-Man Choi in Tampa (he was traded as Choi came off the IL), couldn't beat out Pujols in LA (the Dodgers added them at the same time). Perfectly sensible thing for the Pirates to do -- if he repeats with the bat then he's tradable for a tiny piece at the deadline (or might even be the next surprise late bloomer); if he hits like he did in TB and LA then they can move on easily. The excerpt makes a bigger deal about the lineup issues -- he only started 32 of 44 team games, playing mostly RF/1B, I assume mostly in a platoon setup. You just do the same thing.

As to Colin Moran -- if the Pirates can get a return for him, they should trade him immediately. He's a replacement level player, always has been. He'll probably make about $4 M this year too (arb 2). It's true that no non-DH-league team needs two Tsutsugos but that's what I said about the 2020-21 Rays and their multiple Tsutsugos and the Rays are way smarter than me.

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