It didn’t take long for Tyler Austin to find work after declaring free agency following his outright assignment by the Brewers to start the offseason.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports the former Brewer and Yankee is heading to Japan to play in Yokohama on a one-year deal with a club option.
Former Yankees 1B Tyler Austin is headed to the Yokohama DeNA Baystars on a one-year, deal with a club option, a source tells ESPN. Austin spent time with the Twins, Giants and Brewers in ’19. He’ll replace Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who is drawing strong interest from big league clubs.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 15, 2019
Austin may have been able to catch on somewhere else stateside this winter, but for players of Austin’s caliber, the job certainty is important — if he had waited all winter, finding open spots overseas where there are limits on foreign players becomes more difficult — and while terms of the contract haven’t been released, the money is almost assuredly better than any minor league contract he’d be able to pick up in the U.S.
The Brewers signed Austin to a minor league deal in August after he had been let go by the San Francisco Giants. He ended up hitting .200/.370/.450 in 27 plate appearances over 17 games, primarily as a pinch-hitter.
While it wasn’t a terribly notable stint, he did provide one big memorable moment, hitting a 3-run home run off Jon Lester to break a 3-3 tie with the Cubs on September 8th to power the Brewers to an 8-5 win, helping them take 3 of 4 from Chicago in a series that helped power the Brewers to a second straight playoff appearance (and the Cubs to a second straight late-season collapse).
The Brewers outrighted Austin on November 1st along with Cory Spangenberg, clearing two 40-man roster spots.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference