The Dodgers have passed first baseman/corner outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo through outright waivers, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times was among those to relay. He’ll remain with the organization at Triple-A Oklahoma City but no longer occupies a spot on the 40-man roster.
The Rays originally signed Tsutsugo to a two-year, $12MM contract during the 2019-20 offseason after he’d put together a standout career in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. He never carried that success over with Tampa Bay, though, hitting just .187/.292/.336 across 272 plate appearances with the Rays. Tampa Bay designated him for assignment in mid-May, and the Dodgers acquired him for cash considerations or a player to be named later, assuming a little more than $430K of Tsutsugo’s contract in the process.
Tsutsugo only picked up 31 plate appearances with the Dodgers before landing on the injured list with a right calf strain. He’s been on a minor league rehab assignment after recovering from that injury, but the twenty-day period allotted for rehab assignments was set to expire. Los Angeles has since gotten back Cody Bellinger from his own IL stint, while Albert Pujols has been decent as a part-time first baseman and bench bat. That evidently left no room on the roster for Tsutsugo.
The 29-year-old will remain as hand as high minors depth. Should the need for a left-handed corner bat emerge in the next few months, the Dodgers could give Tsutsugo another look, but he’d need to again be selected to the 40-man roster.