Blue Jays Sign Former Japanese Star

The Toronto Blue Jays' never-ending search for left-handed bats has now taken them to a Pittsburgh Pirates' cast-off, as they've signed infielder/outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo.

The 30-year-old Japanese-born Tsutsugo was recently released by the Pirates, after struggling to a .171 average this season in 170 at-bats. He fared much better in Pittsburgh in 2021, batting .268 with a substantial .883 OPS, with 8 homers in just 43 games. 

Blue Jays skipper John Schneider is pleased with the signing, stating "Obviously it's an interesting add, a left-handed bat that can that can offer a variety of different things. Seeing how it goes and definitely like it."

Tsutsugo has played 1B, 3B, LF and RF in his three years in the majors.

He was a star player in Japan, for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, batting .293 with an OPS close to 1.000 in his time there, along with 139 home runs in four seasons. 

For now, it's a minor-league deal with the Jays, but he could definitely be added to the big league roster by the September 1st expansion, if not before.

Photos: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports, Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports