The Seiya Suzuki – Red Sox saga continues to grow
Another day. Another day without baseball news. Another day without any progress in the current CBA. And another day where the lockout puts the freeze on a sport that can’t afford to be left out in the cold. While we can’t have our usual offseason banter there is one thing that’s piquing my attention. The saga of Seiya Suzuki and the Boston Red Sox.
Early in the winter, there was that fun moment where Suzuki played some games on social media by following just one MLB team, the Red Sox. Soon he unfollowed the team and claimed it was at the advice of his team in order to not narrow his options. Then we had his interview with World Series hero Koji Uehara where the former closer put the heat on Suzuki with the outfielder cheekily talking about Boston.
His relationship with Uehara is the strongest connection we have between Seiya and the Red Sox and it seems to be a pretty strong one. The two players regularly post videos together and the latest one should get Sox Nation clamoring for his signing even more. Suzuki was getting in some batting work with Koji on the mound and the image put a smile on my face.
Obviously, Koji no longer works for the Red Sox but it sure feels like his recruiting pretty hard for them in regards to Suzuki. Toward the end of January, we heard some rumblings out of Japan that Boston was the front-runner and it was a done deal as soon as the lockout was lifted. Since then we’ve seen other teams come to light as possible landing spots based on Seiya’s requests, but the Sox still feel like the favorite.
As far as the Red Sox are concerned, Suzuki fills a need that they currently have. With the departures of Hunter Renfroe and Kyle Schwarber, there is a vacancy in the outfield, one of Boston’s weakest areas.
The current roster of Jackie Bradley Jr., Kiké Hernández, Alex Verdugo, and Jarren Duran leaves something to be desired. Seiya’s bat is an instant upgrade over JBJ and his fielding ability puts him up there with the others named. Of course, we’d have to have that worry about transitioning from Japan to America in regards to the quality of opposition but based on what he’s done in his career, that worry is minor.
Adding Suzuki to the outfield gives Alex Cora the ability to free up Hernández for an infield return as second base is also a weak area for the Red Sox. Putting JBJ back in his favorite spot of centerfield with Verdugo and Suzuki flanking him on the wings feels like a winning combination.
Fans aren’t the only ones that are excited about the possible signing as Ryan Brasier, his former teammate, would love to have him in the lineup. Obviously, fans fell in love with Schwarber during his short stint with the team and want him back but that creates a debate for which player to sign.
I love that Koji is pushing hard for Seiya to join the Red Sox, similar to what we’ve seen Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz do in the past with Dominican players. His love for the club hasn’t waned since he took off the uniform and the fact that he’s trying to bring top talent to Boston is fantastic. It feels like Suzuki will be the first domino to fall when the lockout ends and business opens back up and hopefully that domino falls at Fenway Park.