Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Last offseason interests and how they are doing so far this year

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers drives in a run with a double in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers drives in a run with a double in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
7 of 15
Next
Blue Jays
CINCINNATI, OH – MAY 23: Seiya Suzuki #27 of the Chicago Cubs warms up prior to the start of the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 23, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Seiya Suzuki

Signed a five-year deal worth $85 million with the Chicago Cubs

While the Blue Jays explored the international free-agent market a few seasons ago with Shun Yamaguchi (when it comes to MLB-ready players), the front office was also reportedly interested in outfielder Seiya Suzuki this past offseason.

Posted by the Hiroshima Carp just prior to the lockout, Suzuki was regarded as a player ready to transition straight to the MLB stage, as the right fielder posted a .315/.414/.570 slash line through nine seasons in the NPB, adding 182 home runs, 562 RBI, and a .985 OPS.

Adding Suzuki would be a fun idea for this Jays squad but would have created even more of a logjam in the outfield, considering the core of Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, and George Springer along with Randal Grichuk (at the time) on the bench creating a difficult environment for regular playing time. The righty batter would eventually sign with the Chicago Cubs on a five-year deal worth $85 million while the Jays added Raimel Tapia and Bradley Zimmer (with Grichuk heading to Colorado).

Considered a rookie, Suzuki has been productive at the plate, sporting a .776 OPS while adding four home runs and 21 RBI through 139 at-bats. While he is striking out a bit more than Cubs fans probably like (10th percentile in K%), he does work the count and has some power in the bat, evident by his 87th percentile BB% and 72nd percentile average exit velocity. In right field, Suzuki has one error through 319.0 innings while adding one assist.

facebooktwitterreddit