The Mets could potentially get in on the Seiya Suzuki sweepstakes.
Monday ushered in the expected posting date for the Japanese star outfielder, who most recently plied his trade with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, the Mets are “entertaining” the idea of a pursuit for the 27-year-old.
Suzuki is one of the premier power hitters in the Nippon Professional Baseball League, smashing 38 home runs with 88 RBI in 133 games to go with a slash line of .319/.436/.640 (1.075 OPS), according to Baseball-Reference.
He’ll be available on Major League’s free-agent market until Dec. 22, though that date could change if there is a lockout. Suzuki would have 10 days to sign with a team before MLB’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires on Dec. 2. Should a lockout occur, the final 20 days of Suzuki’s posting would commence once the freeze is lifted.
The Mets are in the outfield market already this winter, whether it’s officially admitted or not.
Right fielder Michael Conforto turned down the Mets’ $18.4 million qualifying offer and will test the free-agency waters after having one of the worst seasons of his career. Regardless, there should be no shortage of interest with the Seattle Mariners emerging as a potential early favorite.
Of course, the Mets could still bring him back, but this is a team that also has to address its starting rotation with Noah Syndergaard fleeing for the Angels and Marcus Stroman hitting free agency, as well.
They’re also in contact with Javier Baez’s representation to potentially bring the All-Star infielder back to Queens after he was acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline.
Suzuki would be a cheaper option compared to Conforto, as industry sources indicated to Martin that he could get a deal worth $7 million to $10 million annually over three to five years.
Bringing on Suzuki would also ensure that the Mets would not lose their first-round (14th overall) draft pick, which would happen if they signed other big-name free-agent outfielders like Nick Castellanos and Chris Taylor.