11-25-21 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter
First of all, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, if this news didn’t break last night chances are I’m writing a longer form message like that, but Ben Cherington seems addicted to making moves on holidays, so here we are.
After a fairly long courting period and a backwards negotiation the Pirates and Yoshi Tsutsugo finally came together on a one year, 4 million dollar contract for the upcoming season.
I say backwards negotiation because if rumors and quite frankly Japanese outlets are to be believed, the Pirates wanted to give him years, but Yoshi was more of a one year mind so here we are.
There isn’t anything wrong with trying to put some players on the field in 2022. I mean I’m not sold that what we saw in Pittsburgh is reflective of what we’ll see next season, but it’s low risk and I’m not about to complain about a power starved ball club bringing in someone who has it in spades.
Craig and I both have told you our concerns here, from feeling the NL Central that the Pirates played at a crazy level down the stretch started to figure out how to get him out, to struggling to hit the fastball, but I can’t deny it feels good to see them identify a guy they want and get him. Can’t say I’ve seen much of that in my time as a Pirates fan so I’ll take the symbolism as a win even if the deal doesn’t work out.
Now, what does this do to the team itself? I don’t think it necessarily spells the end for Colin Moran, if there is a DH it’s not like they won’t need that role filled, but it sounds like Yoshi specifically wants to play first base, and I’d imagine he was at least promised a good crack at it. The only other player who has played first base is really Michael Chavis and I don’t know if that’s enough to cut the only other player who’s handled it, but we’ll see I suppose.
We’re still owed two roster moves with the addition of Yoshi Tsutsugo and Jose Quintana the corresponding removals from the 40 man are next. Now, we should say both of these guys are “in agreement” meaning a signing is imminent, not that they’re signed, so the Pirates don’t technically have 42 guys on the roster as we speak, but with the deadline for tendering contracts moved back to November 29th from December 2nd the decisions loom. Could a non-tender be the route they take here for Moran, Brault or Kuhl?
We also got another move yesterday, albeit under the radar. Michael Perez (to nobody’s surprise) cleared waivers and was reassigned to AAA. Now, you might think this is something I’d get mad about since I called for him to be cut loose well, since August at least, but he’s actually someone that could help in AAA. He’s a good defender and I like having him as cover down there to hopefully help Carter Bins when he gets there at least on the defensive side of the game.
Let’s be real honest here, a move like this is barely a footnote to most teams, but considering I didn’t understand the Yoshi signing last year, at least this shows there was thought paid to the future at the time, and the message it sends to other free agents I like too. It says signing in Pittsburgh for a show me deal doesn’t have to mean you’re gone one way or another, if they like what you show, you might just stick around.
There is still more work to do, clearly, but I can’t see this signing as a negative, even if I try. Let’s say he sucks out loud, hits like .150 and the power just isn’t there when we look up in June, it’s 4 million for one year. I’m just not worried about it. If the worst thing that can happen is the Pirates flush 4 million dollars down the toilet, so be it. Maybe if I felt Colin Moran was on the cusp of putting it all together I’d feel differently. Maybe if I felt Mason Martin was knocking loudly on the door I’d feel differently. But overall, I like this swing, even if they miss.
Thanks to Jason Mackey for breaking the story.
Happy Thanksgiving my friends.