The Red Sox still have a shot at Seiya Suzuki
While we all find a way to cope with the loss of the first week of the regular season thanks to the owners’ inability to negotiate in good faith, there are still some positives to look for in the baseball world. Red Sox free-agent target Seiya Suzuki is fully committed to joining the MLB in 2022 and the latest setback isn’t forcing him to change his mind.
The Red Sox have been heavily linked with Suzuki since his decision to come to America was announced. Suzuki has been deadset on making the transition to MLB and his agent, Joel Wolfe, further confirmed his dedication to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly.
As I said, Boston has been a heavy favorite to sign the Japanese sensation but the fire got a bit hotter when they traded right fielder Hunter Renfroe to the Milwaukee Brewers. Opening up that slot in the lineup also opened the door for Suzuki to slide right into the mix.
Granted nothing is a lock until the pen is put to paper, with the universal DH becoming reality in 2022, re-signing Kyle Schwarber just got harder which further makes signing Seiya a possibility.
Then we have to look at the next layer of the onion and that is his close relationship with Red Sox fan favorite, Koji Uehara. The world champion closer has been joined at the hip with the slugger and was even filmed tossing batting practice to the much desired free agent. Once again the Sox were one of the best offenses in the league and adding Seiya’s bat to that will only make them more dangerous.
BSI’s Sean Penney broke down the offensive projections ahead of Suzuki in the MLB and based on the numbers he’s posted in Japan, he should still be a force in America. As always, he’ll likely see an adjustment period as the level of difficulty increases at the Major League scene but he’s good enough that I doubt that’ll be a long time span.
Once the new CBA is agreed upon and the lockout is lifted Suzuki will have 20 days to sign with his new MLB home. At last count, around half the league was in on the outfielder but with the select few at the top of the list. The Red Sox again have a strong chance thanks to their recent success and the connection with Uehara, but some of the West Coast teams are also heavily in play.
I would love for the Sox to bring him in and set him up in right field with Alex Verdugo in left and a platoon of Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jarren Duran in center. The combinations that can be put together with that mix, and even adding Kiké Hernández into the equation, are a recipe for success both the offensive and defensive sides of the coin.
We have no idea when the current black cloud over the baseball world will break up to let the sun shine through but we have to try and stay positive. Though we can’t think happily about the CBA we can still get excited about the names that could be wearing the Red Sox uniform in 2022. Having Seiya Suzuki in the lineup and mashing at Fenway Park certainly puts a smile on my face, hopefully, it does for you as well.