February 27, 2021

NPB Notes: Akiyama, Tsutsugo, Rays, A. Sanchez (MLB Trade Rumors)


A couple notes related to Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball…

  • The Rays have “expressed interest” in free-agent outfielders Shogo Akiyama and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Unlike Akiyama, the 28-year-old Tsutsugo was posted by his Nippon Professional Baseball team, the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, so any major league team that signs him would have to pay a release fee determined by the size of his MLB deal. His 30-day posting window ends Dec. 19. Tsutsugo’s coming off a years-long run as one of Japan’s most powerful sluggers, as he eclipsed the 20-home run mark seven straight times and combined for 139 HRs over the past four seasons. Still, he didn’t crack MLBTR’s list of the top 50 free agents before the offseason, whereas Akiyama came in at No. 45 and is projected to earn a two-year, $6MM guarantee. Akiyama showed some power in Japan over the past half-decade in his own right, as he bashed 94 home runs and slashed .320/.398/.497. The 31-year-old also…



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