Corner infielder Yoshi Tsutsugo opted out of a minor league contract with the Rangers, tweets Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Texas allowed him to hit free agency rather than add him to the MLB roster.
The Rangers took a non-roster flier on Tsutsugo over the offseason. He didn’t get a big league look, instead spending the entire season with Triple-A Round Rock. He hit .249/.380/.432 over 280 trips to the plate. The left-handed hitter drew free passes at a huge 17.3% clip but went down on strikes over 28% of the time. He connected on six home runs, nine doubles and a pair of triples — fine but unexceptional power production for a bat-first player in the Pacific Coast League.
Tsutsugo will now look elsewhere in search of an MLB opportunity for what’d be the fourth consecutive season. He struggled early upon signing with the Rays and fared even worse in a cup of coffee with the Dodgers. Tsutsugo caught fire late in the 2021 season with the Pirates, though, popping eight homers in only 43 games.
Pittsburgh re-signed him in hopes he’d approximate that production over a full schedule. That didn’t happen, as he hit .171/.249/.229 in 50 contests last year before the Bucs released him. A late-season Triple-A run with the Blue Jays didn’t result in another MLB look. Tsutsugo heads back to the market with a career .197/.291/.339 line over 182 big league contests.
Tsutsugo has primarily played first base and designated hitter at the major league level. The Rays gave him a few looks at third base back in 2020. He didn’t see any time at the hot corner from 2021-22 but started 13 games there with Round Rock (in addition to 22 starts at first base and 16 outings as the DH).