Should the Pirates Sign Yoshi Tsutsugo

10-9-21 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

In order to improve the MLB product in 2022, it’s pretty clear the Pirates will have to go shopping. There simply won’t be enough prospects ready and yes, I mean that even if by some chance Oneil Cruz and Roansy Contreras make the team out of Spring.

The talent is on the doorstep, but that’s a bigger step than most want to admit, so to me real improvement must come from some investment, and lord knows they have room in the budget. After the first regular length season in which PNC Park failed to bull in a Million fans since 1995, I’d like to think the Pirates see the issue.

Ben Cherington’s end of season conference call didn’t really instill a ton of confidence there, saying they’d open some negotiations for extension without naming players, but c’mon, you know who they are, and that most improvement will come internally. He also referenced the need to understand the new CBA first, in other words, don’t expect any announcement on any extensions before baseball gets it’s house in order.

You all saw from our 40-,man exercise the other day that this seems like a stretch at best.

So that got me thinking, maybe even though he’s a free agent, perhaps Mr. Cherington is thinking of someone like Yoshi as internal.

Yoshi played in 43 games for the Pirates, racking up 8 homeruns and generally playing poor defense. but his .268 average and .347 OBP showed at least for that short stretch this was a lot closer to the player he was in Japan, than what he was since signing with Tampa. The OPS of .883 is simply good, no spin needed.

I’d like to bring him back, I’d really like to bring him back if the CBA creates a universal DH situation.

Thing is, those numbers were interesting enough that the Pirates won’t be alone. Many of you will remember me questioning bringing him in almost from the jump, this is why. I’ve gone so far as to assume there almost must have been a handshake and a smile type agreement in place where the Bucs would at least get a conversation with his representation. That’s all it is though, an assumption.

I think it’ll take something along the lines of 7-10 million, more importantly that’d be my cap. You have to honestly think about it like this, I think Tommy Pham will get about 8-11 million next season wherever he signs, can you honestly tell me Yoshi is worth more than him? I’m not sure I can get there.

I like what Yoshi did here, but if we’re honest we need to really look at who else could contribute more, like Pham could at least reasonably play the field and not kill you. Corey Dickerson is available again for that matter.

That said Yoshi was on a 30+ HR pace, that’s not something that is going to be out there that cheap, so if they can get him to agree to that kind of deal, do it I guess.

If he had done this in say Texas, I honestly wonder if we’d even have him on our radar. Even a player like Eduardo Escobar is probably going to get reeled in for 10-12 million and there’s a guy who could play first, second, third, even outfield if need be. He’ll pop some dingers too.

Point is, Yoshi did well here, but I guess I’m not married to him. What I would like to see is the Pirates be willing to go get a bat of that ilk, no matter what his name is.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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