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Reports suggesting Seiya Suzuki will sign with the Red Sox when the lockout ends might have jumped the gun.
The Suzuki market remains open for now, especially considering the Japanese outfielder has yet to meet with any team in person due to the MLB lockout.
Reports out of Japan recently indicated that the Red Sox are an early frontrunner, if not guaranteed to sign Suzuki when the lockout ends. However, conflicting evidence suggests this is just the beginning of Suzuki’s free agent courting.
A report from Japan’s Nikkan Sports, per MLB Trade Rumors, states that Suzuki is just now preparing for some in-face meetings with MLB teams. The Padres, Cubs, Mariners and Giants are expected to be among the finalists, with several other front offices likely to join them. The Red Sox could be included in this bunch, though that’s unclear at this time.
MLB rumors: Where will Seiya Suzuki sign?
Suzuki hasn’t given much of a hint as to his actual intentions. Every time social media sleuths claim to link him with, say Boston or New York, Suzuki quickly denies it. Apparently following the Red Sox on Instagram means nothing these days.
The 27-year-old outfielder won a Gold Glove in NPB last season, while also slashing .317/.433/.636 with 38 home runs. Sure, some players have struggled to make the transition from Japan to MLB, but on the surface this seems different.
When Suzuki is allowed to sign with teams, he’ll have 21 days left in his posting to do so. The Red Sox make a lot of sense on the surface, and he’d slide right in to a starting outfield spot.
As an elite defensive player who can provide at the dish, Suzuki’s contract expectations (likely around five years and $55 million) look like a steal if he can produce.