Yokohama BayStars left fielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo informed his team Friday that he intends to pursue a career in the major leagues.
Tsutsugo, 27, will be eligible for international free agency in 2021 after 11 seasons with the club. He would need the BayStars’ approval to attempt a move to an MLB team earlier via the posting system.
“I’ve had this dream since I was little, so I told the team that I wanted to play with the intent of moving to the majors,” Tsutsugo said after renewing his contract with the BayStars for an estimated ¥400 million (about $3.5 million), up ¥50 million from his previous contract.
Yokohama players have yet to use the posting system, but team president Shingo Okamura said, “On the one hand (Tsutsugo) is an important player, but it’s also important to consider his feelings. I would like to think about what is optimal for the team.”
Tsutsugo, a four-time All-Star, batted .295 with 38 home runs and 89 RBIs this past season.