Outfielder Seiya Suzuki will be posted by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball on Monday, making him available to all 30 MLB teams.
After the Carp post Suzuki, the 27-year-old will have 30 days to negotiate a contract. If an agreement isn’t reached during that window, he will be unable to sign with an MLB team until next offseason.
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.
A right-handed hitter who has drawn comparisons to Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr., Suzuki set career highs with 38 homers and a 1.079 OPS over 131 games in 2021. Over nine NPB seasons, Suzuki owns a career .315/.415/.571 slash line with 182 homers, making five All-Star teams. He also represented Japan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and won MVP honors at the 2019 WBSC Premier12 tournament.
According to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, the Rangers and Mets are among the teams that could pursue Suzuki.
Texas has close scouting ties with NPB after signing right-hander Yu Darvish from Japan in 2012 and is in need of right-handed power after finishing last in the American League in homers by right-handed batters in 2021.
The Mets, meanwhile, have an outfield hole to fill with Michael Conforto a free agent. Their new general manager, Billy Eppler, has been involved in the signing of multiple NPB free agents in the past. Eppler was the Angels’ GM when the team landed two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani in 2017 and was part of the Yankees’ front office for the acquisitions of pitchers Kei Igawa in 2006 and Masahiro Tanaka in 2014.
According to MLB Network insider Joel Sherman, if the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at 11:59 pm ET on Dec. 1 without a new deal being reached, there would be a freeze on Suzuki’s negotiating window and it would resume once a new CBA is signed.