Will the Boston Red Sox win the Seiya Suzuki sweepstakes?
During the Major League Baseball lockout, it was reported the Red Sox were expected to sign the Japanese outfielder when free agency resumed. With the lockout finally behind us, it appears Boston still is in the mix for Suzuki's services.
MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports Boston is "among the hottest pursuers" for Suzuki. Also on the list are the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs.
It's no surprise several teams are interested in signing Suzuki, a five-time All-Star of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. The 27-year-old hit .317 with 38 home runs and 88 RBI over 134 games last season with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. He also has three Gold Glove awards on his résumé.
Suzuki would be a seamless fit for a Red Sox team searching for a right-handed bat. If he indeed lands in Boston, he'd presumably take over for Hunter Renfroe -- traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jackie Bradley Jr. earlier this offseason -- in right field.
The Red Sox would have to pay Suzuki's posting fee of 20 percent of the first $25 million on his contract, 17.5 percent of his next $25 million, and 15 percent of any remaining money.