Seiya Suzuki to be posted
While this winter’s free agent class is surely to be dominated by infielders, and specifically shortstops for the most part, we learned on Friday that a very good outfielder from the NPB will be available to teams as well. Jon Morosi reported that Seiya Suzuki will be posted at some point this winter by the Hiroshima Carp.
Suzuki has been one of the best players in Japan for a few years now, consistently posting an OPS over .900 year in and year out. This year the right-handed batter has hit .319/.436/.644 with 38 homers in 131 games. He will be entering his age-27 season next year, making him one of the youngest free agents on the market this winter.
Mostly a right fielder, Suzuki has been one of the better defensive outfielders in the NPB for the last few years, earning four Gold Gloves in his career. At the plate, he is a well-rounded hitter with power being his best skill. He’s hit at least 25 homers in each of the last seven seasons. However, he also is able to maintain a very impressive approach at the plate. Suzuki has walked more than he’s struck out in two of the last three years, and in the one year he didn’t he had just one more strikeout than walk on the season.
The Red Sox don’t enter this offseason in need of outfield help, but that doesn’t mean you don’t at least consider this kind of player. It’s never easy to know how much to read into numbers from other leagues, and a lot of this will come down to scouting, but there is a chance at an impact player here at a young enough age that you can get peak years for most of the contract. If this signing were to occur, the Red Sox would then have the ability to trade Hunter Renfroe for help elsewhere. It’s not a move they have to make, of course, but it’s a path worth exploring at the very least.
Cubs claim Wade Miley
Friday was filled with waiver claims all around the league as teams were cleaning up their 40-man rosters, and the Red Sox even got in on the action by claiming Tim Locastro from the Yankees. But one of the moves was a big shock to most, with the Cubs claiming Wade Miley off waivers from the Reds. The southpaw has a $10 million team option for 2022.
It flew a bit under the radar, but Miley was one of the better pitchers in the National League this past year, finishing 2021 with a 3.37 ERA over 28 starts. The peripherals were a bit worse than that, but not too much at a 3.97 FIP, as he made up for a lack of swing and miss with good control and an ability to avoid too much hard contact. He might get some down-ballot Cy Young votes later this month, so $10 million doesn’t seem like too steep of a price. Reds fans aren’t happy with the move. It’s hard to blame them, as even if you make the (fair) argument that it’s best for the Reds to give that rotation spot to someone else, they could have been a little more patient in trying to make a trade rather than putting him on waivers the first moment they got.
As for the Red Sox impact here, obviously there is the connection here with Miley having pitched for Boston in 2015, the infamous He’s The Ace season. Being able to pick up someone like Miley for just one year and $10 million would have been great, too, but the Red Sox didn’t have a chance at him falling all the way down to him. That said, it seems Cincinnati will listen on anyone making a bit of money right now, so Chaim Bloom may want to make a call about some other pitchers on that staff.
Arizona Fall League Update
It was another day to forget for Red Sox prospects down in Arizona, where things have fallen into a bit of a lull for Boston players. Jeter Downs got the start at second base here, going 0-4 in the leadoff position, striking out once. Kole Cottom also went 0-4, getting the start behind the plate, while Christian Koss started at third base and went 1-3 with a single and a walk while stealing a base as well.
On the mound, Connor Seabold started and had a rough outing. Over four innings of work the righty allowed three runs (two earned) on a single, a double, and a homer, walking three and striking out four. His ERA in the AFL is now up to 5.71, but it should be noted that it has been an extreme hitters environment down in the desert.