The New York Yankees were recently listed as an aggressive player in the sweepstakes for Japanese stud outfielder Seiyu Suzuki. General manager Brian Cashman was rather quiet before the lockout, but it is possible he comes out guns blazing once things return to normal. The expectation is that Suzuki will be one of their primary targets after a stellar season with Hiroshima in the Japanese League.
Suzuki posted a .317 batting average with 38 homers and 88 RBIs, striking out 89 times over 439 at-bats. Heâ€™s primarily a right fielder, which could force Aaron Judge to transition to centerfield, a spot he played flawlessly during the 2020â€“21 season with the absence of Aaron Hicks.
At this point, relying on Hicks to be an everyday option in the outfield may be a bit optimistic given his injury history. If the Bombers are willing to replace him as a starter and relegate him to second-team duties, they could get a bit more value out of his seven-year, $70 million contract.
Suzuki has incredible power as a lefty, showcasing quick hands and a smooth swing. Featuring him as one of their slugging outfielders would likely produce stellar results. The Yankees have had great success in the past utilizing Japanese talent, notably Hideki Matsui, Masahiro Tanaka, and even Ichiro Suzuki.
The expectation is that Suzuki will cost about $55 million over five years, but he could earn a bit more if teams begin a bidding war. Luckily for the Yanks, Suzuki unfollowed the Boston Red Sox on social media, throwing a bit of shade toward one of the “aggressive” teams targeting him post-lockout.
One former Yankee is heading overseas to play in the Korean league:
Former fan-favorite Mike Tauchman signed a new deal with a Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization, receiving a $300K signing bonus and salary of $700K for a total of $1 million. After being selected in the 10th round of the 2013 draft, Tauchman served a major purpose for the Yankees before Covid struck. With his flexibility in the outfield and adequate contact-hitting qualities, he will make the move across the ocean to cash in one last time.