The first few weeks of MLB free agency has provided more activity than initially expected, but to this point several of the top players still remain available.
That was somewhat of an expected development given not only recent history but also because of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expiring at 8:59 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Assuming a new agreement is not in place by then, a lockout is expected to halt free agency and all other MLB business.
With the latest news out of Japan, that may have some impact on Seiya Suzuki.
According to Thomas Harrigan of MLB.com, Suzuki is going to be posted by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp and be free to sign with any MLB club:
Outfielder Seiya Suzuki will be posted by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball on Monday, making him available to all 30 MLB teams.
Per David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio, the Dodgers have interest in signing Suzuki:
#Dodgers have shown interest in Japanese OF, Seiya Suzuki who will be posted today. @USABaseball Manager, Mike Scioscia managed vs Suzuki in Olympics. He believes Seiya Suzuki will hit with power in MLB and has “Tremendous throwing arm from Right Field” #HotStove
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) November 22, 2021
Upon officially getting posted as an international free agent, Suzuki will have 30 days to negotiate a contract to sign with any MLB team. However, if that period expires without a deal in place, the 27-year-old would need to wait until next offseason to make the jump stateside.
Per reports, a lockout would put a pause on the 30-day window to sign. Otherwise, Suzuki has until 2 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Dec. 22, to join a team.
Per the posting agreement between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Carp would be due a release fee that amounts to 20% of the first $25 million from a contract Suzuki signs. Should the total value exceed that amount, the Carp would receive an additional $17.5% of the next $25 million, and 15% for any total that exceeds $50 million.
Suzuki set career highs with 38 home runs and a 1.079 on-base plus slugging percentage this past season, and in nine years playing in NPB, has hit .315/.415/.571 and made five All-Star teams. He has represented Japan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Would Suzuki be a fit for Dodgers?
The right-handed slugger would help provide needed balance in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup, but having exclusively played the outfield since 2015, there isn’t a clear fit.
That could change dependent on how the offseason unfolds for the Dodgers, but signing Suzuki would likely require a substantial move such as trading AJ Pollock. Of course, the team could elect to have Suzuki and Pollock alternate as a designated hitter if it is implemented in the National League.
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