Coinciding with the free agency period before the MLB lockout began was Seiya Suzuki getting posted by the Hiroshima Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) on Nov. 22.
That began a timeline of 30 days for the Japanese slugger to negotiate with MLB teams and sign a contract to make the jump from the NPB. However, the lockout put pause on that, and upon business resuming, Suzuki had roughly three weeks to make a decision.
Throughout various points of the offseason he was connected to the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, some of those same teams remain in pursuit of Suzuki and have been joined by the Chicago Cubs:
Mariners, Giants, Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox among the hottest pursuers of OF talented all-around OF Seiya Suzuki. 5 time NPB Best Nine award winner.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 12, 2022
In February the Giants and Mariners were deemed the frontrunners to sign the 27-year-old. The Mariners more recently have been connected to Kris Bryant, who may be unlikely to re-sign with the Giants and in turn that could further fuel their interest in Suzuki.
Per the posting agreement between MLB and 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 threshold, the Carp would receive an additional $17.5% of the next $25 million, and 15% for any total that surpasses $50 million.
How would Suzuki fit on Dodgers roster?
If the Dodgers were to sign Suzuki, it would require some creativity with assembling the lineup. They could opt to trade AJ Pollock to make room on the roster, but that could merely be a lateral move.
A universal designated hitter is in place as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which provides the Dodgers with some flexibility. Suzuki could be among the players L.A. rotates through DH, as they are unlikely to fill the spot with one specific batter.
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