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Rays trade Yoshi Tsutsugo to Dodgers

The return is a slight amount of cash in exchange for a slugger who has struggled since coming over from Japan.
The Rays designated Yoshi Tsutsugo for assignment on Tuesday. The Dodgers claimed him before he could become a free agent.
The Rays designated Yoshi Tsutsugo for assignment on Tuesday. The Dodgers claimed him before he could become a free agent. [ JOHN BAZEMORE | AP Photo/John Bazemore ]
Published May 16, 2021|Updated May 16, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays found a taker for struggling slugger Yoshi Tsutsugo late Saturday night, trading him to the Dodgers for cash.

Tsutsugo was designated for assignment this past Tuesday, having hit .187 with eight homers, 29 RBIs and a .628 OPS in 77 games since coming over from Japan for the 2020 season. That includes just .167-0-5-.462 this year. Plus, he has struck out nearly 30 percent of the time.

Tsutsugo, 29, still was owed $5,494,624, the remaining balance on the $7 million salary he had this season as part of what originally was a two-year, $12 million deal, plus another $2.4 million the Rays paid to his former Yokohama team.

The Rays were responsible for all but a prorated share of the minimum salary, which is around $430,000.

Though the trade was announced as being for a player to be named or cash, the Rays will take the Dodgers’ money, getting a small amount on top of the $430,000.

The Dodgers did so to acquire Tsutsugo before he became a free agent Tuesday and had the right to sign wherever he chose. His other option was to stay with the Rays organization by accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham.

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