According to reports from Japan, and David Kaplan, Japanese slugger Seiya Suzuki has chosen to sign with the Chicago Cubs.
On Tuesday night, while the baseball Twitter world was buzzing over Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs reportedly made a very “extensive pitch” to Suzuki with Tom Ricketts personally involved in the meeting.
Suzuki has been a major catalyst for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. In his nine seasons, the right-hander posted a slash line of .315/.414/.570, while collecting 937 hits with 182 home runs and 562 RBIs. He’s a four-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, and two-time batting champion in Japan’s Central league. Although the batting stats are nice, Suzuki also possesses a very strong throwing arm.
I know there's been a lot of criticism in the past about Japanese stars leaving to play Major League Baseball and not panning out. However, at five years and $70 million, the Cubs could possibly have just gotten the best deal of the offseason so far. If Suzuki can hit anywhere close to what he's done so far with the Toyo Carp, he will be a major piece for the team.
After all the links to big name free agents in the past week, and the glooming report of Tom Ricketts and company pushing hard to purchase a football club, it's nice to see ownership open the checkbook. Is there more to come? After finally signing a deal with a potential impact player, does Jed Hoyer have more signings up his sleeve? There are still more questions about the roster, and everyone knows fans will have a lot to say about this. For now, let's enjoy this signing.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Suzuki's contract is for $85 million over five years. In addition, the deal includes a no-trade clause.