Past reports have already linked the Blue Jays and Marlins to Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s market, and now MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets that three AL Central teams are also in the mix. The White Sox, Tigers, and Twins all have some interest in the Japanese slugger, who has hit 185 homers for Yokohama since the start of the 2014 season. Tsutsugo’s left-handed power would fit in any of the three teams’ lineups, though his limited defensive capability as a first baseman or outfielder could see him mostly play first base if he wound up in Minnesota, since Nelson Cruz is locked into DH duties. Chicago could deploy Tsutsugo along with Jose Abreu in the first base/DH mix or play Tsutsugo in the outfield on days when Yasmani Grandal is getting a DH or first base day, while Tsutsugo would simply step right into an everyday role for the hitting-starved Tigers.
Any team that signs Tsutsugo will have to pay his former team, the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, a release fee that will be determined by the size of Tsutsugo’s eventual MLB contract. The 30-day posting window for Tsutsugo to find a contract in North America ends on December 19, so there is still lots of time for one of his five known suitors or perhaps other teams to strike a deal.
Here’s more from the AL Central….
- Morosi reports on another potential Detroit target in another tweet, noting that the Tigers and Angels are two of the teams interested in Josh Lindblom. The right-hander is looking to return to the majors on the heels of two outstanding seasons in South Korea’s KBO League, and some very impressive spin rate numbers on his four-seam fastball. Morosi writes that Lindblom has already received multi-year offers from more than one team, which isn’t surprising given how Lindblom would be an inexpensive yet high-ceiling addition to a lot of pitching staffs (such as rebuilding teams like the Tigers or hopeful contenders like the Angels).
- The Royals announced their 2020 coaching staff under new manager Mike Matheny, with a few new faces in the mix and some familiar faces returning in some different roles. Pitching coach Cal Eldred and hitting coach Terry Bradshaw will remain in their positions, while Pedro Grifol moves to bench coach from his past quality control/catching coach job, and Vance Wilson goes from bullpen coach to third base coach. Rusty Kuntz will become the Royals’ first base coach for the third time in his 12-year stint as a member of the K.C. organization, while Larry Carter will take over as bullpen coach after 22 years in various minor league roles for the club. John Mabry joins the staff as a Major League coach, after working under Matheny as the Cardinals’ hitting coach when Matheny was the St. Louis manager. Former coaches Dale Sveum and Mike Jirschele will remain with the Royals in as-yet-unassigned new roles.
- The Indians’ homegrown pitching has been the backbone of the team’s success in recent years, and The Athletic’s Zack Meisel (subscription link) looks at how the organization has been able to turn the likes of Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, and other relatively unheralded — none were drafted before the third round by the Tribe or other teams — arms into top-flight hurlers. Ruben Niebla, formerly the minor league pitching coordinator and now the big league team’s assistant pitching coach, has been a key figure in the system of finding what works for each pitcher, getting the pitcher to buy into the strategy, and then tailoring that development through all levels of the pitcher’s trip up the organizational ladder. “That communication is vitally important to us, that we make sure we have continuity and the same message as he goes through. There’s no confusion. It’s clear,” Niebla said.
Matheny’s kid Tate is a FA now also. Wonder if he signs with KC since Boston didn’t put him on the 40 man roster. Might be minor league depth for them, tho not any kind of prospect.
What position does matheny’s kid play? We already have Cal Eldred’s Son (I think it’s his son) In our minors system in Kansas City.
I got my great nephew a hockey game for Christmas. I can’t wait to play it.
What is your nephew great at? Video games? Or just a good egg in general?
Yoshi would work well as a first baseman on the cubs
Yeah, the Tigers offense was absolute trash and they need someone who can over 20 bombs.
Yup. Cubs need pitching, pitching, and more pitching. They should be in on Bumgarner (or at the very least, Keuchel) for the rotation spot vacated by Hamels, and they should be in on Will Harris, Dellin Betances, or someone else of that caliber to be a bridge to Kimbrel.
The farm system is thin on pitching as it is, so they need to get pitching without giving up any. That rules out trades, unless they decide that Nico Hoerner has made Ian Happ expendable.
They want to trade away pieces this offseason, not sign more bad contracts correct me if I’m wrong
I had LIndblom going to the Astros because I felt the Astros might be the smartest organization in baseball. Just the fact that the Angels are interested makes me feel better about the Angels.
round of applause *trash cans collide*
Flashes of Byung-ho Park for Twins fans.
Twins fans flashback to Nishioka also. MLB seems harder than their league
Yeah, cuz Park worked out great for the Twins. Just re-sign Cron morons!!But get two more Top notch SP’s FIRST please. For the love of Kirby..good grief!!!!and trade Royce Lewis and Kiriloff so I don’t have to hear about these “precious” prospects. Grow a pair and trade em for Starting Pitching!!! “!:’#(Explitive/explitive)
Sign bumgarner and Donaldson boom
Hope the Sox aren’t doing much more than kicking the tires on Tsutsugo. I’d rather they go after proven guys, like Castellanos or trade for and extend Pederson, or just go with below-average hitting but a great glove and sign Dickerson.
I think you’re confusing Corey Dickerson with somebody else. That’s almost the exact opposite of what he brings to the table… Your description sounds much closer to Kole Calhoun.
I agree. They should find a legit right fielder with a good offense/defense balance.
Pederson is a glorified platoon player. Take a flier on Puig and utilize the D of Engel when needed. Then sign a pitcher or 2.
Pederson played a lot of games last year for a platoon guy. Pederson comes into the game as soon as the LHP comes out. Good hitter who can get on base.
If the Jays are interested in Tsutsugo, he’s likely a fourth outfielder.
I’ve read about scouts wondering whether his skills will translate to the majors. It’s a different game over there. Some guys are so talented, like Ichiro and Ohtani, that they’ll shine in any league. Others are just average over here.
Anything exceeding one year will be a mistake. There’s no harm in taking a no risk look, but the posted hitters never seem to have as much success as the pitchers.
Yoshi would be a good fit at 1st for the tigers
As long as they don’t overpay for a modest talent that won’t make a difference for the team in another difficult year. He might give something to cheer about, and at least be a new face.
I think Donkey Kong, with his long arms, would be a better choice.
Yoshi on a 1 or 2 year deal to play everyday with the Tigers, so he can prove himself in MLB and then hit FA again at 29/30 is somehow both the smartest and riskiest move for him, but I also don’t know why he’d get a big year deal to begin with, so it might be his only move. If he’s instantly good, then he becomes a major trade piece on a rebuilding team.
I like the idea but not sure he only wants to sign a 1 year deal and on top of that with a beyond awful club. Maybe that’s just me
The Cubs have needed a guy like Niebla for years. Theo’s picks may not have been that bad if they’d had that kind of coaching in their system. Recognizing and maximizing young talent is the key. Kudos to the Indians.
They are also exceptionally lucky to have had Kluber build that mold!!! “Hey kid you want to be like Kluber? Work hard, listen to us and trust your stuff along with the strategy we put into place for you.” Makes a huge difference when there’s big time proof in front of you.
And it’s Kluber not being a heralded prospect coming over to Cleveland, somebody had to work hard with him and get him to buy in first…
Scott C. Worden
When is Billy Eppler going to stop dumpster diving for starting pitchers?
“Dumpster Diving” – That’s a tired comment about Eppler and the Angels. Whoever they pick up not named Garrett Cole will find half of the commenters in support and half critical. Let’s wait and see how things unravel. The winter meetings haven’t even taken place.
It’s been very apt thus far, no? Ohtani and his unique situation aside, have the Angels ever had a true #1 or #2 starter rostered in the Trout era?
I believe they’e had a few top potentials if it weren’t for an unusual amount of injuries. I think Richards, Heaney, and Skaggs could have all fallen into the ace category but for injuries derailing their progression.
Scott C. Worden
Dumpster diving includes starting pitchers like Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill, Chris Stratton, Jesse Chavez, John Lamb, and Tim Lincecum.
Every team does it. EVERY. TEAM. If you’re not trying to find value, you’re not doing your job. If it doesn’t work out, it didn’t cost you much, if it does, you look like a genius.
Don’t forget Joe Blanton. We have signed some garbage arms and we have had some great arms go down to injuries. I think most teams have the same storyline. The metaphor of “dumpster diving” is old and tired. That’s my point.
Tsutsugo hits around .275 and 20-30 HRs and strikes out about every 3-4 ABs vs South Korean pitching.
Tigers would be smarter to sign Cron…who has shown about the same success vs MLB pitching.
Cron>Tsutsugo. I also bet he’d be cheaper.