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Star free-agent Seiya Suzuki provided an update on his intentions for the 2022 season.
Even the best-laid plans of mice and men can go awry. When Japanese star Seiya Suzuki decided he was going to take his talents to North America for the 2022 MLB season, he couldn’t have imagined he’d be without a new deal in March.
The MLB lockout has put a hold on Suzuki crossing the Pacific and signing his first MLB contract. One might think a return to Japan would be a step he might take. He could always stay put and try again next offseason.
This doesn’t seem to be the likely route Suzuki takes. According to his agent, Joel Wolfe, nothing has changed. Suzuki is still “100% committed to playing in MLB this year.”
Clear a spot in your outfield. Seiya Suzuki is coming!
Seiya Suzuki still has his eyes on playing in MLB this year
Seiya Suzuki has been heralded as one of the best free agents out there this winter. Although unproven against MLB pitchers, there’s enough of a consensus that he’ll be closer to the better Japanese free-agent stars like Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, or Shohei Ohtani than he will be to the ones who quickly found a role on a team’s bench — do we need to narrow down that list?
When the lockout does end, Suzuki will have about 20 days to sign a deal. Surely, someone will not waste time in trying to negotiate a deal at the risk of losing him in the less than three weeks available. Front offices have had enough time to plan their attacks. Next is getting a pen in the hand of every player they want.
Teams linked to him in the past include the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, and Boston Red Sox. It would seem Suzuki is bound to follow in Ichiro’s footsteps, jump right into the mix of the National League West battle for supremacy, or make the four buyers in the American League East go into a bidding war to sign him.
As Joc Pederson already noted on Twitter, the immediate time period after the lockout ends will be chaos for free agency. He is among the outfielders available alongside Suzuki.
However, it’s Seiya Suzuki who should steal the majority of the headlines.