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Japan’s Seiya Suzuki is Baseball’s Next Star

Bailey Haun
by Bailey Haun

Outfielder Seiya Suzuki is Making Waves

Japanese player Seiya Suzuki is set to be the next internal MLB star following his $85 million deal move to the Chicago Cubs. Suzuki has been making headlines with the Hiroshima Carp, starring in the Nippon Professional Baseball for more than nine years. His transfer to the United States was delayed because of COVID-19. The right-handed-hitting pitcher is now poised to take on the Majors, and pundits poise him as the next big international star with high expectations after his assimilation into the Cubs team. Sports bettors are also excited about Suzuki’s prospects, and many people will be betting for his team at online casinos. Of course, a strengthened team could only mean slightly lower odds, but nothing is definitive until Suzuki’s performances in a Cubs jersey.

In 2021, Suzuki hit .309 with 38 home runs in 88 RBI, bagging an all-star performance for the fifth time in the league. Rumors about a move to the Cubs were confirmed a few weeks ago when the Chicago outfit won a bidding war for the 27-year-old positional player. The outfielder agreed to a five-year deal worth $85 million. Chicago Cubs will also pay a posting fee of $14.6 million to the Hiroshima Carp, bringing their total commitment to $99.6 million.

Breaking Transfer Records

Suzuki is a highly coveted outfield player recognized for his five-time All-Star achievement in Nippon Professional Baseball. He is the latest international player from Japan to make a big-money move to the MLB. Suzuki’s move comes after other big-money transfers like Shohei Ohtani’s $20 million posting fee, Ichiro’s $13 million, Matsuzaka’s $51 million, Darvish’s $51 million, and Tanaka’s $20 million. The move will go down in history as the largest for a pitcher and the second largest for any international player. It came only second behind Tanaka’s $155 million move back in 2004.

Record-Breaking On-Field Stats

Seiya Suzuki’s big-money move has been one of the talking points since the deal was announced, but it doesn’t mask the achievements over the years. The right-handed pitcher has been breaking records ever since he became prolific in the Nippon Professional Baseball. Over nine years, the outfielder slashed .315/.414/.570 with 182 home runs and 562 runs batted in, a mean feat replicated by no one else. His 38 home runs and 88 RBI in 2021 handed him a fifth career Gold Glove. It’ll be interesting to see if Suzuki can replicate his brilliance in the Major League Baseball and how he fits into the rebuilding Cubs squad.

Renewed Hope for The Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have a rich history with many achievements, including 3 World Series titles, 17 NL Pennants, 1 NA Pennant, and 6 Central Division titles, the last of which came in 2020. Last year (2021), the squad let go of core players, including Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez. The team thinning left the Cubs scrapping for fourth place in the NL Central. However, there has been exciting recruitment this year. One of them is the arrival of Marcus Stroman, another pitcher who signed for $71 million in the last month of 2021. Suzuki and Stroman will be key in the current rebuilding phase. The Cubs currently have the 17th highest payroll in the Major League Baseball at $106.4 million before Suzuki’s deal and might climb a few more positions. The team also has a long shot of winning the 2022 World Series.

A Case of Delayed Presentation

According to the president of baseball operations, Jed Hoyer, the Cubs had to wait 99 days for the lockdown to end before presenting their case to Suzuki. Negotiations went on for five more days, and the Cubs finally landed their coveted player providing the biggest contract ever given to a Japanese position player in the United States. Chicago Cubs did a five-year deal to invest in Suzuki and his future at the club, said Jed Hoyer. The club is fine with any assimilation challenges and growing pains that may emerge within the first few weeks. According to Jed Hoyer, the Cubs believe Suzuki will get settled fast, but everyone has to be a little patient. As things stand, the club, fans, and the MLB community are excited about what the Japanese pitcher will bring to the team and league.

What It Means To MLB and Sports Bettors

Betting on the MLB is a popular pastime for iGaming fans and online punters. People can bet on various events and odds, including outright outcomes, home runs, RBIs, and even transfers. The big-money move from Japan NPB to the USA MLB is poised to offset the current balance and improve the Cubs’ strength going forward. If everything clicks, Chicago Cubs fans can hope for a better position as they begin a new push for the major titles. Only time will tell what impact Suzuki will have on his team and on the league as a whole.

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