There is reason to believe the New York Yankees will be extremely aggressive coming out of the lockout regarding free agency. General manager Brian Cashman failed to spend or acquire any new players via signings or trades, but that seemed to be part of their overall strategy.
The Yankees have been linked to a number of players, ranging from Justin Verlander to Corey Seager, who have both since agreed to deals with new teams, notably the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. However, there is plenty of talent left on the market for Cashman to scoop up when things return to normal.
One free-agent target, the Yankees, are reported â€œaggressivelyâ€ pursuing his Japanese star outfielder Seiyu Suzuki.
Suzuki is a 27-year-old Japanese native looking to make the transition to the MLB after spending the last nine seasons with Hiroshima. With the lockout commencing, Suzukiâ€™s 30 day period to find a new team has stalled, giving him time to negotiate and figure out an adequate contract.
The projected deal for Suzukiâ€™s is around five years, $55 million, making $11 million per season. It is possible that number increases, and given he hit .317 with 38 homers and 88 RBIs this past year, thereâ€™s a reason to believe plenty of teams will be intrigued by his skill set.
Suzuki also has experience playing third base and shortstop but could fill the centerfield spot valiantly with Aaron Hicks dealing with consistent injuries the past few seasons. Cashman indicated earlier this off-season he would be looking for supplements in the outfield after allowing Clint Frazier to walk in free agency and rejecting the club option for Brett Gardner.
The Yankees have had plenty of success signing Japanese players in the past, notably Masahiro Tanaka, Hideki Matsui, and bringing on Ichiro Suzuki later on during his career in the states. Seiya could be the next in line to provide significant talent at the MLB level, and given his double-digit homer seasons, thereâ€™s no question the Yankees will be involved in a potential deal.