Seiya Suzuki is MLB’s Latest Big-Money Japanese Star

    • He is the highest-paid position player coming out of Japan in MLB history.
    • A five-time All-Star in Nippon Professional Baseball, the outfielder hit .319 with 38 HRs and 88 RBI in 2021.

The Cubs have won the bidding war for Seiya Suzuki, who has all the tools to be MLB’s next international superstar.

On Wednesday, the 27-year-old outfielder agreed to a five-year, $85 million deal with Chicago, according to multiple reports. The Cubs will pay the Hiroshima Toyo Carp a $14.6 million posting fee, bringing their total commitment to just under $100 million.

A five-time All-Star in Nippon Professional Baseball, Suzuki is the latest highly coveted Japanese player to make a big-money transfer to MLB, following the likes of Shohei Ohtani ($20M posting fee), Ichiro ($13M), Daisuke Matsuzaka ($51M), Yu Darvish ($51M), and Masahiro Tanaka ($20M).

  • Suzuki’s deal is the second-biggest for a Japanese player behind Tanaka ($155M, 2004) — and the highest for a position player.
  • Last season for Hiroshima, he hit .319 with 38 HRs and 88 RBI and won his fifth career Gold Glove.
  • In nine seasons in the NPB, he slashed .315/.414/.570 with 182 HRs and 562 RBI.

Along with new pitcher Marcus Stroman, Suzuki will be a cornerstone for the rebuilding Cubs. Last July, Chicago unloaded core players Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez and sank to a fourth-place 71-91 in the NL Central.

The Cubs have the 17th-highest payroll in MLB ($106.4M) — excluding the pending deal — and are understandably long shots to win the World Series (+10000*).