The Giants added a free-agent Japanese player on Friday.
No, it isn't two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, who has yet to sign with a team as of Friday afternoon, but San Francisco and outfielder/first baseman Yoshitomo Tsutsugo agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. MLB Network's Jon Heyman first reported the deal, which later was confirmed by Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi through the Associated Press.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Bay Area and California sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
Tsutsugo, 32, spent 10 years in the Nippon Professional Baseball league before coming to the U.S. He has played for the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers and, most recently, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Before the start of the 2023 MLB season, the Texas Rangers signed the Japanese slugger to a minor-league contract in January. Tsutsugo was released in June and began to play in the independent league two months later.
Tsutsugo hit 139 homers for the Yokohama Bay Stars of the Japanese Central League from 2016 to 2019, leading all hitters in Japan.
He came to the U.S. in 2020 but hasn't been able to carry over that same success in Japan. Tsutsugo has hit .198/.291/.339 with 18 home runs and 75 RBI with a .630 OPS in 640 MLB plate appearances.
San Francisco Giants
Tsutsugo also participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic with Japan.
Zaidi, through the Associated Press, also confirmed the Giants agreed to a minor-league contract with former Oakland Athletics right-handed pitcher Daulton Jefferies.
The 28-year-old Jefferies posted a 5.72 ERA in 39 1/3 innings as a starter for Oakland in 2023 and was a first-round pick by the A's in 2016.
Jefferies, a Northern California native from Merced, now has an opportunity to pitch for his childhood team.