Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Hiroshima Carp posted Seiya Suzuki as an international free agent prior to the MLB lockout beginning in December, but the negotiation process has remained paused like most other business in the league due to a (new) collective bargaining agreement not being in place.
Upon being posted by the Carp, the 27-year-old initially had 30 days to meet with teams and agree to terms on a Major League contract. That period has been paused and whenever the timeframe resumes, Suzuki will have roughly three weeks to go through free agency.
Over the past several weeks the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays were among the teams with reported interest in the slugger.
According to Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe, some in baseball believe the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners are the frontrunners to potentially sign Suzuki:
But within the industry the Giants and Mariners are seen as the leading contenders.
Per the posting agreement between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Carp would be due a release fee that amounts to 20% of the first $25 million from a contract Suzuki signs. Should the total value exceed that amount, the Carp would receive an additional $17.5% of the next $25 million, and 15% for any total that exceeds $50 million.
The star outfielder set career highs with 38 home runs and a 1.079 on-base plus slugging percentage last season, and in nine years playing in NPB, hit .315/.415/.571 while making five All-Star teams.
How Suzuki would fit on Dodgers roster
If the Dodgers were to sign Suzuki, it would require some creativity with assembling the lineup. They could opt to trade AJ Pollock to make room on the roster, but that seems like it would mostly be a lateral move.
If the universal designated hitter comes to the National League, that would help solve the problem, but it still isn’t a guarantee to happen.
L.A. could also elect to give Mookie Betts more time at second base, play Cody Bellinger at first base and Max Muncy at third base, but that ends up creating several moving parts.
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