Dodgers Free Agency Rumors: NPB Outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo Drawing Interest
Japanese baseball star Yoshitomo Tsutsugo
Kyodo News via Getty Images

A popular refrain from the Los Angeles Dodgers throughout this week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego was their focus lied on adding elite players to their already-talented roster. That seemingly manifested in interest in Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg.

Despite assurances by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman that the club had financial flexibility to make long-term commitments, the Dodgers missed on Strasburg, were outbid for Cole and didn’t submit a contract offer to Rendon.

They reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with Blake Treinen and are said to be involved with Dellin Betances and Josh Donaldson. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Dodgers additionally have interest in Japanese outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo:

The 28-year-old was posted by his Nippon Professional Baseball team, the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, on Nov. 18. Any MLB team that signs Tsutsugo would owe the BayStars 20% of the first $25 million guaranteed to him, plus 17.5% of the next $25 million, and an additional 15% of any dollars north of $50 million.

If Tsutsugo were to sign a Minor League contract, the BayStars would receive 25% of the signing bonus and player’s salary upon being added to the active MLB roster.

Tsutsugo has been a power hitter in during his time in NPB, slugging at least 20 home runs in seven consecutive seasons. He batted .293/.402/.574 over the last four seasons in Japan, with 116 doubles, 139 home runs and 372 RBI.

While Tsutsugo is productive at the plate, there are questions surrounding his defense. That makes the Dodgers’ interest somewhat curious, particularly when also taking into account their outfield depth.

Tsutsugo has primarily played left field since 2014, but has experience at first base and third base, and to a lesser extent in right field as well.

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