The Tampa Bay Rays continue to take the non traditional approach to free agency and as they went over 7200 miles to sign their latest free agent inking Japanese Star Yoshitomo Tsutsugo to a two year contract.
The Rays will pay Tsutsugo $12 million dollars over the two years of the deal, and also pay a $2.4 million fee to Tsutsugo’s Japanese League team.
The 28 year old Tsutsugo who will go by “Yoshi”, signed a two year contract to play third base and leftfield. It is also possible that Tsutsugo will also see time as DH as the Rays will look for him to bolster the offense.
Tsutsugo played with Yokohama DeNa Bay Stars in the Japanese Professional Baseball League for the last ten years hitting .285 with 205 home runs and 613 runs batted in.
Tsutsugo known for his power in the Japanese League has hit at least 20 homers for six consecutive seasons.
The left handed hitting Tsutsugo hit .272 with 29 homers and 79 runs batted in last season.
At his introductory press conference, Tsutsugo said that he was very happy to join the Rays organization and would play as hard as possible to help them win.
Tsutsugo will help offset the loss of Avisail Garcia who signed with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Tsutsugo is expected to hit anywhere from number four through six in the Rays lineup. He is compared offensively to Cubs outfielder Kyle , but with a bit less power.
-The Rays lost outfielder Avisail Garcia to the Milwaukee Brewers as he cashes in on his fine 2019 season. Garcia who made $3.5 million dollars with the Rays last season signed a two-year $20 million dollar contract with the Brewers.
—As reported by The Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Mayor Jane castor is slowly coming around to the idea of sharing the Rays with Montreal.
Castor lists her reason for supporting the idea of sharing the Rays with Montreal as:
—In person attendance is dropping, while TV ratings are on the rise.
-The difficulty of the average baseball fan making a commitment to attend 81 games during the course of a season.
-The cost of building a new stadium would be about half of the $1 billion price tag that was being talked about when the Rays were exploring a new stadium in Ybor City.
Castor and her team have had talks with the Rays about a new stadium in Tampa, but Castor said the talks are just in the exploratory stage right now.