Japanese outfielder Hitoshi Tamura "exploring" move to MLB

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Earlier this month there were reports about arguably the two best pitchers in Japan, Yu Darvish and Hisashi Iwakuma, potentially making the move to MLB next season and now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com writes that Japanese outfielder Hitoshi Tamura is also “exploring” the possibility.
Tamura is 33 years old and hit .324 with 27 homers and a .924 OPS for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks this season. However, Crasnick notes that he’s been very injury prone throughout his career and this season was actually Tamura’s first All-Star selection.
Sure enough he was limited to just 93 games in 2009 and 39 games in 2008, but Tamura did hit a combined .290 with 20 homers in those 132 games before having his career-year this season.
According to Crasnick he’d prefer to sign with a team on the West Coast and the Diamondbacks, Rangers, Giants, Padres, and Indians are among teams that have scouted him in Japan.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.