PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Pirates will bring back first baseman / outfielder Yoshi tsutsugo on a one-year, $ 4 million deal, according to various reports Wednesday.
The deal is pending a physical exam.
Tsutsugo, 29, joined the Pirates in August after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played well the final six weeks of the season, hitting .268 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 43 games while dividing time between first base, left field and right field.
Pittsburgh is in dire need of a right fielder heading into 2022, though Tsutsugo is limited on defense and at times had trouble adjusting to the 21-foot-tall Clemente Wall at PNC Park.
Still, the left-handed power he displayed during 144 plate appearances would be welcome in a full 162-game roster for a team that finished last in the majors in home runs by a wide margin.
Traveler Tsutsugo was a star in his native Japan, where he hit 205 home runs over the course of a decade before signing with Tampa Bay in December 2019. He hit just .217 in parts of two seasons with the Rays before being traded. to the Dodgers in May.
Tsutsugo played 12 games for Los Angeles and was released in August after hitting .120. The Pirates, who are in the middle of a top-down rebuild, picked him up and it made an immediate impact. Tsutsugo doubled in his first at-bat with Pittsburgh, hitting at least one hit in four of his first five games and proved capable of handling first base.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported on the deal on Wednesday.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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Reports: Pirates retain Tsutsugo with 1-year pact