Japanese superstar outfielder Seiya Suzuki will be one of the hottest free agents available when baseball’s lockout ends, and a new report indicates the Cubs could be in play for his services.
According to Japanese newspaper Nikkan Sports, the Cubs are considered finalists for Suzuki, along with the Giants, Mariners and Padres.
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Suzuki, an elite talent out of Japan’s NPB, is available to sign with any MLB team this offseason via the league’s posting process. The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly estimated the 27-year-old could command a deal in the neighborhood of five years and $60 million.
Suzuki, who’s spent his entire pro career with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, won his fifth Gold Glove Award in right field last season. He’s coming off a strong season at the plate, hitting .317/.433/.639 with 38 home runs (a career-high) and 88 RBIs.
He’s a career .315/.414/.570 hitter in nine seasons and also helped Japan win the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
MLB overhauled its posting system for free agents coming over from Japan during the 2018-19 offseason, putting more power in the players’ hands to choose their teams.
Players have 30 days to negotiate with any MLB team, and the winning team then pays a posting fee to the player’s NPB club based on the total value of the player’s contract: 20 percent of the first $25 million, 17.5 percent of the next $25 million and 15 percent of any further guaranteed value.
The posting process is paused due to MLB’s lockout and transaction freeze. Teams will have 20 days to negotiate with Suzuki post-lockout.
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Source: Yahoo Sports