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Seiya Suzuki Rumors: Red Sox, Two AL East Foes Aggressively Pursuing Japanese Star

Report: Red Sox among three AL East teams leading Suzuki pursuit originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Is Seiya Suzuki bound for the American League East?

Suzuki, a five-time All-Star in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan, was recently posted by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, allowing major league clubs to bid on his services.

The three teams that have been "most aggressive" in pursuing Suzuki are all in the AL East, the Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam reported Saturday: the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays.

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The Red Sox swapped outfield offense for defense last week when they traded Hunter Renfroe to the Milwaukee Brewers to reunite with Jackie Bradley Jr. But Suzuki would add considerable pop to the outfield: The 27-year-old hit .317 with a 1.069 OPS last season, tallying 38 home runs and 88 RBIs over 134 games. He’s a three-time Gold Glove winner, as well.

Adding Suzuki would allow Boston to keep Alex Verdugo in left field and play either Bradley or Kike Hernandez in center field, with Hernandez moving to second base if Bradley is in center. If the Red Sox don’t bring back outfielder Kyle Schwarber (who reportedly has a robust market in free agency), Suzuki makes a lot of sense in right field.

Suzuki wouldn’t come cheap, though: Boston would need to pay his posting fee -- 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 – in addition to a multiyear deal that’s better than what New York or Toronto have to offer.

Major League Baseball began a lockout on Dec. 2 that halted all offseason activity, so Suzuki’s destination won’t be determined until after the lockout ends. But he and Schwarber are names to watch once the lockout ends as Chaim Bloom tries to piece together his outfield.

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