MLB Rumors: Yankees, Red Sox Among 'Most Aggressive' Teams Pursuing OF Seiya Suzuki

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 6, 2021

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Outfielder Seiya Suzuki #51 of Team Japan hits a single in the fourth inning against Team United States during the gold medal game between Team United States and Team Japan on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Yokohama Baseball Stadium on August 07, 2021 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Yuichi Masuda/Getty Images)
Yuichi Masuda/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly "been the most aggressive in pursuit" of Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki, according to Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal. 

McAdam added that Boston's trade for Jackie Bradley Jr. "has more than a few people in the game believing that the Sox are intent on landing Suzuki, whose posting process was frozen when the lockout went in effect. The thinking: Suzuki could play right field for the Sox, replacing Hunter Renfroe both defensively and as a productive right-handed bat. The Sox could then keep Kike Hernandez in center and Alex Verdugo in left."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn't confirm or deny the team's potential interest in the Japanese outfielder, however.

"I can't speak to even that. If he comes over here, it would be a major-league situation," he told reporters Sunday, referring to the lockout that prevents team officials from publicly speaking about rostered players and free agents. "So I can't speak to that."

Suzuki's deadline to sign with an MLB team is Monday, Dec. 22 at 5 p.m. ET. Per the Associated Press, his posting fee to that will go to his current club, Central League's Hiroshima Toyo Carp, will be "20 percent of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options."

That will then drop to 17.5 percent of the next $25 million on the deal, 15 percent over $50 million and a "supplemental fee of 15 percent of any earned bonuses, salary escalators and exercised options."

Suzuki, 27, hit .319 with 38 homers and 88 RBI for Hiroshima this past season. He's a four-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover and won the 2019 batting title. He has a .315 career batting average with 182 homers.

Doug Rush @TheDougRush

Some scouting on Seiya Suzuki:<br><br>Most of his power is to LF/CF.<br>Sits back to wait on breaking pitches. Drives fastballs.<br>Hands move quick, fluid through the zone.<br>Walks: Drew 88 last year. .433 OBP.<br>Career high 38 HR. Normally averages 26-30.<br><br>Has Fenway Park written all over him. <a href="https://t.co/ZY6l7Cm77Q">pic.twitter.com/ZY6l7Cm77Q</a>

With the biggest names in free agency at shortstop and starting pitcher—at least before the league's owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired—Suzuki would be an excellent addition for teams in need of bolstering in the outfield. 

Other players to watch for outfield-needy teams include Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber and Michael Conforto.