Mariners in contact with Suzuki

December 1st, 2021

MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest news and rumors surrounding Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki, who is available to Major League Baseball clubs via the posting process.

Dec. 1: M's interested in Suzuki, meet with OF via Zoom
Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto confirmed to reporters Wednesday that the team met with Suzuki via Zoom.

"I don't know where that will lead. But I can tell you, we're interested," Dipoto said. "He's a great player."

After signing left-hander Robbie Ray to a five-year, $115 million deal, the Mariners have been active on the position-player market. Seattle has been connected to Kris Bryant and Trevor Story in addition to Suzuki in the past 24 hours.

Suzuki was posted by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp on Nov. 21, starting a 30-day window for the slugging outfielder to negotiate with MLB teams. If the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 1 without a new deal being reached, there will be a freeze on Suzuki’s negotiating window until a new CBA is signed, at which point the clock will resume, according to MLB Network insider Joel Sherman.

Nov. 23: Potential fits for Suzuki
After being posted by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp on Monday, Suzuki is drawing a ton of free-agent interest, with MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reporting that nearly every West Coast team is in on the Japanese star.

Heyman specifically mentions the Mariners, Giants and Rangers as teams in the mix for Suzuki. The Mets also have been connected to Suzuki, with Michael Mayer of Metsmerized Online reporting that New York has scouted the 27-year-old outfielder.

The Rockies could be a fit, too, given their need for outfield power. Colorado is coming off a 74-87 season, resides in one of the toughest divisions in baseball and could lose shortstop Trevor Story to free agency, but the club has given the indication to other teams that it intends to try to contend in 2022, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

Nov. 21: Suzuki to be posted Monday
Suzuki will be posted by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball on Monday, making him available to all 30 MLB teams. More >

Nov. 17: Suzuki to be posted next week (source)
MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports that Suzuki will be made available to MLB teams via the posting process next week.

Nov. 16: Suzuki to be posted by Carp, team confirms
The Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan will make Suzuki available to MLB teams via the posting process, the team has confirmed. MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported earlier this month that Suzuki would be posted.

Once he is officially posted, it will open a 30-day window for the outfielder to negotiate with MLB teams. If he doesn't come to an agreement, he'll return to Hiroshima. We saw this happen last offseason when pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano was posted but didn't end up coming to MLB.

There would be a freeze on transactions if MLB owners and the MLB Players Association don't come to an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement by the time the current agreement expires on Dec. 1. The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly reported Tuesday that MLB and NPB were close to an agreement that would stop the 30-day clock if such a situation occurs.

Under the current 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.

Nov. 10: Suzuki drawing considerable interest
Suzuki hasn’t officially been posted by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp yet, but he’s already “drawing a lot of interest” from MLB clubs, reports MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

It's unclear exactly which and how many teams are interested, but the Rangers have been mentioned as a potential suitor by MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.

Giants president Farhan Zaidi told The Athletic (subscription required) that the NL West champs will also be in the Suzuki sweepstakes.

"He’s a really good player. … We’ll be in that outfield market and adding another right-handed bat, particularly one that hits for power with good at-bat quality, kind of fits our team," Zaidi said.

Nov. 5: Suzuki could shake up outfield market
The Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball are expected to make Suzuki available to MLB teams via the posting process this offseason, a source told MLB.com.

A five-time All-Star in Japan, Suzuki will be one of the top outfielders on the free-agent market once he's available. Over nine NBP seasons, Suzuki has hit .315/.415/.571 with 182 homers in 901 games. The 27-year-old had 38 homers and a 1.075 OPS in 2021. He's drawn comparisons to Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr.

Under the current 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.