Over the last week or so, several players who had been playing pro ball in Korea or Japan (some originally from those countries, others former big leaguers kicking back to the States) have signed contracts with major league clubs. I had notes on several of them in our Top 50 Free Agents post, but wanted to talk about them at greater length now that we know their employers and the details of their contracts.
LF Yoshi Tsutsugo, Tampa Bay Rays
(Two years, $12 million, $2.4 million posting fee)
Tsutsugo’s deal came in a bit beneath what Kiley predicted on the Top 50 Free Agents post (Kiley had two years at $8 million per), where we ranked him No. 42 in the class, but multiple public reports have confirmed that Tsutsugo had more lucrative offers from other teams and chose to sign with Tampa Bay because of comfort with the org.
In addition to regular DH duty, Tsutsugo seems like an obvious platoon partner for Hunter Renfroe in one of the two corner outfield spots. The Rays have indicated he’ll see some time at third and first base, positions he hasn’t played regularly since 2014, and the notes I have from pro/international scouts and executives indicate he’s not…