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Does Seiya Suzuki Fit in Minnesota?


On Monday morning, outfielder Seiya Suzuki will be posted by his Japanese club. Does Suzuki fit into Minnesota’s offseason plans?

 

All 30 teams will have a unique opportunity over the next month with the chance to bid on the rights to outfielder Seiya Suzuki. The 27-year-old has been playing for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp for nine seasons. For his career, he has hit .309/.402/.542 (.943) while averaging over 20 home runs per season. 

Some of those numbers are deceiving as he saw limited action in his early career. Last season, he hit .319/.436/.640 (1.075) with 38 home runs and 26 doubles. He’s accumulated an OPS of .950 or higher in five of the last six seasons. He won the 2019 Central League batting title with four All-Star selections and three Gold Gloves.

Suzuki is no stranger to the international stage as he represented Japan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and the 2020 Summer Olympics. During the Olympic Tournament, Suzuki homered off the United States’ Anthony Carter to help Japan rally for a 7-6 victory. In the gold-medal game, he collected two hits to help the host country to a 2-0 win. 

Changes were made to the MLB-NPB posting system back in 2017. According to MLB.com, “Under the MLB-NPB transfer agreement, the Carp would receive a release fee equal to 20% of the first $25 million in guaranteed contract value, plus 17.5% of the next $25 million, plus 15% of any amount beyond $50 million.” 

Does Suzuki Fit in Minnesota?
Many teams will be interested in adding a right-handed power-hitting outfielder that is just entering the prime of his career. As Nick reviewed Minnesota’s 40-man roster, quite a few corner outfield types are already under team control. These names include Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Brent Rooker, Jake Cave, and Luis Arraez. However, there is no guarantee all of these players will still be on the roster when the season starts. 

This winter, Kepler is a prime trade candidate for the Twins, especially as part of a package to acquire more starting pitching. His absence would leave a hole in the outfield and at the plate. Kirilloff should be getting as much time as possible at first base because he is a significant defensive upgrade over Sano. Larnach and Rooker struggled through different portions of the 2021 campaign. Austin Martin, one of Minnesota’s top prospects, may be destined for a corner outfield spot

For now, the two teams most closely tied to Suzuki seem to be the Texas Rangers and the New York Mets. Texas famously signed Yu Darvish back in 2012, and they need plenty of offensive help. The Mets have a new GM, Billy Eppler, and he has been very successful in signing NPB free agents. He was the GM in Los Angeles when they signed Shohei Ohtani, and he was in New York when they signed Masahiro Tanaka.

Does Suzuki seem like a fit for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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15 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

Considering how the Twins treated Nishioka and Park, it'd be a cold day in hell before I'd come out of Korea or Japan to sign with the Twins.

Both Nishioka and Park got a good chance to succeed, and failed. But of course, many people from warmer climates might characterize Minnesota springs and falls as "cold days in hell."

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An outfielder who can hit and field?   No we try to get rid of those types.   We prefer them to only have one of those skills or neither as long as they are cheap we are good.     Joking of course - yes we could use a right-hand hitting outfielder who can field but not sure we would allocate a portion of our budget for that.    Would open the possibility of trading some of our other outfielders for pitching.        

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3 hours ago, ashbury said:

No.

We also need pitching.

We have plenty of pitching. We had 13 or 14 pitchers on the big league team at a time last year. We sent em down, called em up, waiver'd em, claimed em, IL'd em, DFA'd em...heck we ran through approximately 150 pitchers last season. We have pitching coming out our ears.

 

What we need is good pitching. 

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3 hours ago, USAFChief said:

We have plenty of pitching. We had 13 or 14 pitchers on the big league team at a time last year. We sent em down, called em up, waiver'd em, claimed em, IL'd em, DFA'd em...heck we ran through approximately 150 pitchers last season. We have pitching coming out our ears.

 

What we need is good pitching. 

We both have hair coming out our ears.  What we need is good hair.

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5 hours ago, Shaitan said:

What does Park/Korea have to do with this post?

The Twins haven't exactly treated highly regarded Asian league players well in my opinion. So why would a player from an Asian league look at the Twins as a potential landing spot? The Twins were quick to bench and demote Park with an injured wrist and never really gave him a good look after. Gardy was publicly critical of Nishioka right off the bat, and it can certainly be said Nishioka didn't play well, either he nor Park even got 300 plate appearances in MLB.

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It always comes down to cost and how the team employs their resources.  I haven't seen anything noted about a "ballpark" for what it would take to sign him.  Keeping in mind that pitching is the primary asset that needs to be acquired thru trades and FA he would certainly be a nice addition.  But pitching and SS would be bigger priorities.  Since signing Buxton is STILL the #1 off season priority (or as we here on TD certainly feel that way) I'd like our FO to get off their fat behinds and make some QUICK progress on Buxton and a pitcher before the weekend.

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Has there been anyone saying what he wants as far as salary? As others have said, that is a major question to be asked and answered before really forming an opinion either way. Of course the Twins would want him, they would want pretty much any number of FA's out there. However, there is that little problem that keeps coming up, salary. This isn't the Yankees who can just toss out a couple million bucks. Sure would be nice to see MLB come up with some type of salary cap (and floor) system wouldn't it? 

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20 hours ago, bean5302 said:

Considering how the Twins treated Nishioka and Park, it'd be a cold day in hell before I'd come out of Korea or Japan to sign with the Twins.

Yes, I can't argue with your assessment. They were treated poorly (especially Nishioka), but they have treated Maeken very well, and Maeken is very respected by fans, other players and the media here. This can be used to our advantage to kind of lure him here. Seiya Suzuki is an outstanding player who plays good defense and is a very, very good hitter--a really tough out and very clutch. (He also has been more-or-less injury-free.)

And, don't forget that both Suzuki and Maeda are Hiroshima Carp players. That has a lot more meaning to Japanese players than one might think.

I'd love it if the Twins went all in.

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Personally, I would love it. Looks like a lot of places are expecting between 3-5 years and $7-$11 million per year? I think I'd take the chances on him at even $10 million.  (Plus fee?)

It definitely would make me feel more comfortable trading Larnach or CF in a package for pitching and/or Kepler in the future.  The thought of Buxton, Suzuki, and Kepler/Martin/Lewis in the OF at some point in the next year would be quite fun.

* Note to Twins management.  This plan would require $$ and paying Buxton. Proceed with caution.

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