It “seems inevitable” that Rays infielder/outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo will lose his roster spot in the near future, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times observes. Although the Rays made a fairly expensive commitment to Tsutsugo prior to 2020, the former Nippon Professional Baseball standout hasn’t lived up to a two-year, $12MM guarantee. This season has been especially rough for the 29-year-old, who has batted a miserable .167/.244/.218 with zero home runs in 87 plate appearances. The Rays still owe Tsutsugo around $5.5MM, Topkin points out, but may decide to move on anyway. Tsutsugo could stay in the organization if they send him down, but he has an assignment clause in his contract and would have to sign off on a demotion. Otherwise, Tsutsugo could collect the remaining money he’s due and try his luck in free agency again.
- The Rangers announced that they have hired Baseball Savant creator Daren Willman as their Senior Director, Research & Development/Applications for Baseball Operations. Willman, who was the Director of Research & Development for MLB’s Baseball Operations Department, “will be responsible for the development and expansion of the Rangers’ baseball information systems,” the Rangers said. “He will oversee a team of developers in the continued growth and improvement of the organization’s information infrastructure.” Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels stated that he expects Willman to “have a significant impact on our organization.”
- The Red Sox own the majors’ best record (22-14) and a three-game lead in the American League East. But even if the Red Sox remain in contention around the July 30 trade deadline, the likelihood is that they’ll avoid farm system-altering deals that hurt them over the long haul, Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic suggests (links: 1, 2). Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom hasn’t shown he’s willing to sacrifice future gains for short-term help, which could rule out dealing valuable prospects for certain pending free agents (e.g., Kris Bryant and Max Scherzer), writes McCaffrey.
- Having played three rehab games at the High-A level, Red Sox utilityman Danny Santana will make his 2021 Triple-A debut on Tuesday, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe was among those to report. Santana signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox in the offseason, but a foot infection cost him a chance to make their roster during the spring. Assuming Santana doesn’t suffer any setbacks, the Red Sox will have to make a decision on him soon because his deal includes an opt-out clause for this month.