Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Team Interested in Outfielder Seiya Suzuki

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates could use some immediate help in the outfield.  Is the team looking to make a move?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have already signed a free agent to a Major League contract.  Yesterday, they agreed to terms with veteran left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana. While it should not be viewed as a “win-now” move, it does suggest that the team is getting more serious.

However, there is a new free agent that the team has interest in potentially acquiring, albeit, in a different way than other free agents. Outfielder Seiya Suzuki was officially posted by the Hiroshima Carp.  This gives teams 30 days to work a deal with him, although a potential work stoppage could factor into Suzuki’s decision.

Suzuki put up outstanding numbers in the always competitive NPL, batting .319 with an OPS north of 1.000.  To go with those numbers he hit 38 home runs along with stealing 9 bases.  So there is definitely a lot of tools to like in Suzuki.

According to Nachi Tomonari, a reporter out of Japan, the Pittsburgh Pirates are 1 of 7 teams to show a legitimate interest in acquiring the outfielder. Kyle Newman was nice enough to translate the report that shows the 7 teams. This comes as somewhat of a surprise as the Pittsburgh Pirates have been relatively quiet in terms of making notable free agent moves.  Still, Ben Cherington does have a past in aggressively pursuing talent from other countries.

When with the Red Sox he was able to bring in players from Japan and Cuba. So it is not completely out of the ordinary to see him being involved in this market. The question is, how financially serious are the Pittsburgh Pirates about acquiring the outfielder? Any team acquiring him would have to pay the Hiroshima Carp a posting fee of up to 20 million in addition to Suzuki’s salary.

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Either way, it is exciting to see the Pittsburgh Pirates actually being involved in some of the early player movements.  The last few offseason have been rough between trading away veterans and adding free agents mainly through Minor League deals. So it definitely shows a change in the competitive mentality of this Front Office. It will be interesting to see if the Bucs can land Suzuki and if they do, what other moves could be on the horizon.