Unsurprisingly, the Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball announced Seiya Suzuki‘s posting, meaning that the NPB’s most-talked-about player will most likely take his talents to Major League Baseball next season.
There are still some concerns regarding the timing of Suzuki’s posting, as the MLB CBA’s expiration date is just around the corner, and failing to reach an agreement could lead to a transaction freeze, according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic.
“Suzuki must sign within 30 days of being posted or he returns to Hiroshima. But from what I understand, MLB and NPB were close to an agreement in which that clock would be stopped in the event of an industry lockout,” wore Baggarly.
Seiya Suzuki posting: Best MLB free agency fits
Even so, Suzuki’s free agency should be very active, as scouts have compared him to the second coming of Japanese legend Hideki Matsui, while others claim that he’s the best Japanese player to be posted since Shohei Ohtani.
While not a two-way superstar like Ohtani, Suzuki’s MLB projections have him as a middle-of-the-order hitter with above-average power and outstanding defense, and some expect him to fetch a contract around 5 years and $11 million per year.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best fits for the Japanese star, and the teams that have reportedly shown interest in acquiring his services.
The San Francisco Giants are coming off the best season in franchise history, so it’s not like there are many areas of improvement for them right now. Then again, even good things can be better, and the outfield was one of their weakest links last season.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 18, 2021
The Giants are expected to have plenty of cash to spare in the offseason and have been linked to every big-name free agent out there. Then again, they could be better off trying to keep Kris Bryant, Anthony DeSclafani, and Kevin Gausman instead.
It’s been a while since the Texas Rangers were good and chances are that won’t change any time soon. But the team is reportedly set to be quite aggressive in their pursuit of new talent in the offseason and they have a lot of financial flexibility.
The Rangers have reportedly shown interest in signing the 27-year-old NPB star. They’ve been fond of Japanese players historically and had plenty of success with Yu Darvish, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see them break the piggy bank to land Suzuki.
The Chicago Cubs have plenty of needs to address in the offseason. They traded away most of their World Series-winning core and it will take some time before they’re able to compete at the highest level again. That’s why they can afford to sign him.
The Red Sox are one of multiple teams that have scouted the Japanese star OF Seiya Suzuki, 38 HR this season.
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) November 10, 2021
Some scouts predict that as talented as Suzuki is, he’ll need a lot of time to adjust to Major League Baseball. The Cubs desperately need a solid outfielder and can allow him to grow through his mistakes, as they have no playoff hopes in the near future.
1. Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are coming off a solid, yet disappointing season. Their pitching was way off and cost them plenty of games but their offense was also inconsistent, getting hot as quickly as they went ice cold.
They need another star and chances are that Suzuki might as well be that player.
Alex Cora‘s team features enough firepower to be patient with the Japanese outfielder. They can ease him into action while he gets used to the MLB’s velocity and take things slow with him. It’s the ultimate low-risk, high/reward pickup for them.
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