Seiya Suzuki Rumors: Red Sox, Yankees & Blue Jays Among Interested Teams
Seiya Suzuki
Yuichi Masuda/Getty Images

In addition to players who were designated for assignment last week being in limbo due to MLB team owners imposing a lockout, so too is Japanese star outfielder Seiya Suzuki after he was posted Nov. 22 by the Hiroshima Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball.

That began a 30-day window for which Suzuki could negotiate with all MLB teams as an international free agent. However, that timeframe was suspended by the lockout, and won’t resume until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place.

The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly were among the clubs that had early interest in the 27-year-old.

According to Sean McAdam of Boston Sports Journal, the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays were aggressively pursuing the outfielder:

The thinking: Suzuki could play right field for the Sox, replacing Renfroe both defensively and as a productive right-handed bat. The Sox could then keep Kike Hernandez in center and Alex Verdugo in left. That may well be true, but though one major league source reports the Yankees, Blue Jays and Red Sox have been the most aggressive in pursuit of Suzuki, teams can hardly be certain of the player’s attention.

Had MLB not been thrust into a lockout, Suzuki was due to sign with a team by 2 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Dec. 22. Instead, he’ll have nearly three weeks to make a decision once a new CBA is in place.

Suzuki set career highs with 38 home runs and a 1.079 on-base plus slugging percentage this past season. Over nine years playing in NPB, he has hit .315/.415/.571 and made five All-Star teams. Suzuki represented Japan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and 2020 Summer Olympics.

Would Suzuki be a fit on Dodgers roster?

The power-hitting outfielder would help provide needed balance in the Dodgers’ lineup as a right-handed hitter, but having exclusively played the outfield since 2015, there isn’t a clear fit.

That could change dependent on how the offseason unfolds, 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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