Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Tampa Bay Rays have signed Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo to a two-year deal worth around $12 million. They Rays will also will have to pay a 20 percent posting fee to his old team, the Yokohama DeNa BayStars.
Tsutsugo, 28, has averaged 33 homers and 93 RBIs over the last five seasons in the Central League of NPB. He’s an on-base machine, with a career line of .284/.382/.525. In 2019 he hit .272/.388/.511. His best season came in 2016 when he hit .322/.430/.680 with 44 homers and 110 RBI in 133 games.
Tsutsugo will likely move around from left field to DH for the Rays.
Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.
The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.