Cubs Rumors: Seiya Suzuki is still planning to come to MLB
By Jake Misener
It was hard to log on today and get back to the grind after everything that went down yesterday. I’m here – but I’m definitely still feeling it, both as a writer and someone who deeply loves this game. Despite the cancellation of Opening Day and the first two series of the regular season, at some point, there will be baseball.
To that end, The Athletic is reporting that Japanese superstar outfielder Seiya Suzuki remains focused on making the jump to Major League Baseball in 2022, despite everything that transpired on Tuesday afternoon.
Suzuki has garnered interest from a good chunk of the league, although with the lockout in place since early Dec., we’ve had to rely on quite amount of speculation given the transaction freeze. At various points of the winter, the Cubs have been directly linked to the 27-year-old Suzuki – although I’d still say they’re probably not among the finalists for his services.
Last year, Suzuki slashed .317/.433/.636 with a career-high 38 home runs as a member of the Hiroshima Carp – so for a team like Chicago with more questions than answers in the outfield mix, there’s obvious reason for interest.
A career .309/.402/.541 hitter, Suzuki should be headed into the prime years of his career. The Cubs are likely at least a couple years away from being in contention, but given his age, there’s no reason that should stop them from making a run at him once the lockout is lifted and free agency resumes.
There’s no telling what the roster will look like when the season finally gets underway, but as the roster currently stands, you’re looking at a mix of Jason Heyward (who will reportedly see his role diminished in 2022), Ian Happ, Harold Ramirez, Clint Frazier, Michael Hermosillo and Rafael Ortega vying for playing time.
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No one in that group is a sure thing and while Suzuki isn’t either, his signing would be another nice addition for Jed Hoyer as he looks to walk the tightrope between competing in the short-term and keeping his gaze focused on the organization’s long-term outlook. So never say never, and know that whenever things pick up again, this will be a key player to keep an eye on because his market could shape how others in free agency fare.