A new report from Japan has the Cubs as one of the potential top landing spots for free agent outfielder Seiya Suzuki. There hasn’t been a ton of talk about Suzuki over the last two months, and that’s because MLB teams cannot discuss deals with him.
Suzuki, 27, has been called the best slugger to come out of Japan since Shohei Ohtani and will have plenty of suitors this winter. Teams have been scouting Suzuki for the last few years, especially after it became clear that he would eventually be posted.
The Cubs clearly need more outfielders, and it always felt like Suzuki would be a great fit in Chicago. This report from Japan doesn’t exactly call the Cubs the favorites to land him, but they have them in the top four.
This will be an interesting story to follow, but it’s a story that won’t even begin until the MLB lockout ends. Time is running out for a deal to be reached to save the entire Spring Training.
Other Options Out West
Previous players that have come over from Japan have seemed to focus on teams on the West Coast when looking to sign a new deal. It sounds as if that will be the case with Suzuki as well, and there are three pretty good teams in that part of the country that could be in the mix.
The San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants are both expected to make a run at Suzuki, which could turn into a bidding war. The Seattle Mariners are another team that could be looking to sign the outfielder, and that team is expected to be a playoff contender next season.
Interestingly, the Cubs are the only team outside of the West Coast that is in play for Suzuki, but that could actually be an advantage. Chicago won’t have to try and battle with teams from the A.L. or Central Divisions and will simply have to sell how nice the weather is during the summer.
Cubs Still Have Money
New General Manager Carter Hawkins will be busy as soon as the lockout ends, but he is also going to have plenty of money to deal with. There is no doubt that Hawkins has been doing plenty of work during the lockout, and he will have a good idea about how he wants to spend his money.
Even if Hawkins already has some targets in mind, there will be enough money to go around. Suzuki is not expected to cost as much as some of the other top free agents, but it will all depend on how many years he is willing to sign for.
If the Cubs could land Suzuki and at least one other big free agent, this team could be in playoff contention next season. The Cubs have been in the mix on plenty of these players of late, but it’s time that they land one.
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