I want MLB’s lockout to end for a variety of reasons, chief among them my desires to A) watch San Francisco Giants baseball, and B) know that I’ll soon be able to watch San Francisco Giants baseball so that I can more happily get through my days by having an exciting event to look forward to.
But I also want the lockout to end so that the Giants can get back to making Major League transactions. I fully expect the Giants to pass on Kris Bryant, Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Correa, and Trevor Story, but I want the excitement of knowing every time I open Twitter that they might have shocked me and signed one of them, or at least had a rumor swirl. I don’t even expect them to make big runs at Zack Greinke and Carlos Rodón, but much wilder things have happened than getting word that they’re in on a player of that ilk.
I do, however, expect them to be in the running for Seiya Suzuki, and I am here for every part of that.
If you’ve missed the multiple memos sent out about Suzuki, he’s a defensively brilliant right-handed hitting outfielder with power which, hey, what do you know, is No. 1 with a bullet on the Giants current list of priorities. He’s 27, has had an OPS above 1.000 in the NPB in three of the last four seasons, and in the past three years has drawn 263 walks while striking out just 243 times, while throwing in 91 home runs for good measure.
There’s no way of knowing how that will translate, but it certainly encourages optimism, and Suzuki’s contract will almost surely be in the range that would be quite easy to swallow regardless of his performance.
The obvious problem is that every other team sees the power and the OPS and the defensive awards, and the larger tally of walks than strikeouts. The Giants surely present a compelling case for swaying Suzuki, but so do a lot of teams, and the draft has allowed us to forget that, with money being presumably equal, there are a lot of unknown factors that determine where a player wants to play — let’s not forget that Shohei Ohtani made the conscious decision to join a franchise that’s been unable to build a team that could win a single postseason game despite having the best player in baseball history, and plays in a city that features this riveting description in the opening paragraph of its Wikipedia page:
Is known for being the home of the Disneyland Resort, the Anaheim Convention Center, and two major sports teams
So here’s the problem regarding Suzuki: with the lockout halting all Major League transactions, all Major League rumors have been, effectively, placed on ice. The tiny pieces of information we’re getting are mostly meaningless, and quite conflicting.
To wit, according to MLB Trade Rumors, Nikkan Sports includes the Giants in an (admittedly non-exhaustive) list of four finalists for Suzuki, while Yahoo Japan says the Boston Red Sox (not on the aforementioned list) are the favorites.
That’s the kind of info we’re dealing with, and it really is quite meaningless at this point.
What we know is this: the Giants are interested in Seiya Suzuki, because most teams are interested in Seiya Suzuki. What we can reasonably guess is this: Seiya Suzuki is interested in the Giants, because they’re a decent organization in a good city and will offer him a good chunk of change, which also describes anywhere from 10 to 29 other organizations, depending on your personal definitions of those three things.
Until the lockout ends, that’s all we’ll know, and that’s all we can reasonably guess.
So end, lockout. For a plethora of very valid reasons, but also so we can read reports about Suzuki that allow us to actually feel some serious emotions, good or bad.