The Hiroshima Carp sent Seiya Suzuki as an international free agent prior to the MLB lockout beginning in December, but the negotiation process, like most other companies in the league, remained on hold with no (new) collective bargaining agreement in place.
After being dispatched by the Carp, the 27-year-old was initially given 30 days to meet with teams and agree the terms of a major league contract. That period has been paused, and whenever the time frame resumes, Suzuki has approximately three weeks to go through free agency.
In recent weeks, teams reportedly interested in the racquet have included the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays.
According to The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham, some in baseball believe the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners are the frontrunners to potentially sign Suzuki:
But within the industry, the Giants and Mariners are considered the leading contenders.
Under the MLB-Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) secondment agreement, Carp would be entitled to a 20% transfer fee of the first $25 million in a contract signed by Suzuki. Should the total exceed this amount, the carp would receive an additional 17.5% of the next $25 million, and 15% for any total exceeding $50 million.
The star outfielder set career highs with 38 home runs and 1.079 on-base plus slugging percentage last season and averaged .315/.415/.571 in nine years in the NPB while making five All-Star teams.
How Suzuki would fit into the Dodgers roster
If the Dodgers were to sign Suzuki, some creativity would be required in putting together the lineup. You could choose to trade AJ Pollock to make room on the list, but that mostly seems like a sideways move.
Getting the universal designated hitter to the National League would help resolve the issue, but it’s still not a guarantee.
LA could also choose to give Mookie Betts more time on second base, play Cody Bellinger on first base and Max Muncy on third base, but that creates several moving parts.
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