Chicago Cubs officially introduce Japanese star Seiya Suzuki

(Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images) /

Outfielder Seiya Suzuki’s deal was made official Friday when the Chicago Cubs announced the signing, followed by an introductory press conference at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. Suzuki agreed to a five-year contract with the Cubs worth $80 million with a full no-trade clause and $5 million signing bonus.

Reports that the 27-year-old slugger from Arakawa, Japan had agreed to sign with the Cubs came out earlier in the week after his reps and members of the organization met with each other on Monday night. A number of other teams were reportedly in on him, including the Padres, Red Sox, Giants, Mariners, Dodgers and Angels.

Cubs introduce Seiya Suzuki

Alongside Cubs president Jed Hoyer, Suzuki met the media at noon Mesa time. Fans were frustrated that they could not follow along on stream or on Marquee, so they relied on beat reporters posting quotes and videos on Twitter. Luckily the Cubs posted the full presser recording on YouTube.

"“For years we have scouted Seiya [Suzuki] for the Hiroshima Carp. His performance in Japan has been consistent and exceptional in all phases of the game – We signed Seiya to a five year contract because we believe he will play a significant role in [that] success now and in that success in the future.” -Cubs president Jed Hoyer"

Suzuki started his interview by saying, “Hello my name is Seiya Suzuki. Nice to meet you.” Suzuki spoke most of the presser through his interpreter. He wore his new jersey and cap, dawning number 27 which will be his official number. Why 27? Because of Mike Trout. He even said that he loved Trout to the camera which got a great reaction from the media. It was also interesting to hear that former Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish endorsed the North Siders as a desirable destination to Suzuki. Darvish told him that the city of Chicago was great, as were the fans and that he would love playing there. Even after the rough start to his Cubs tenure and the shocking trade to San Diego, Darvish still thinks highly of Chicago.

"“Mike Trout. I love you.” – Seiya Suzuki"

Hoyer said that it was an easy sell to him. Suzuki said part of the reason he wanted to join the Cubs was because of how enthusiastic the team was on getting him. Even second baseman Nick Madrigal was reportedly part of the recruiting process. Suzuki mentioned that the process took longer because of the lockout.

The team is currently in a weird spot where they are in a transition phase with a deep farm system, but not exactly close to being a World Series contender in 2022. The hope is for Suzuki to be a building block of the transition phase as well as being a major part of the next contending window. He will be slated to slide into the outfield mix right away.

Right now the rest of the outfield is up in the air, with Ian Happ, Jason Heyward, Rafael Ortega, Clint Frazier, Greg Deichmann, Harold Ramirez and Michael Hermosillo all on the current 40-man roster. Not to mention the Cubs anticipate top prospect Brennen Davis coming up at some point this season. Regardless, Suzuki will be a big part of the team this year and beyond and hopefully he produces here as he did in the NPB.

Next. Jonathan Villar signs with Cubs on one-year deal. dark

Suzuki was officially added to the roster after Adbert Alzolay was placed on the 60-day IL. Now he will get ready for his regular season MLB debut which comes in several weeks.