Chicago Cubs reportedly finalists for Japanese superstar Seiya Suzuki

As Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association finally come together in hopes of avoiding games being canceled due to the lockdown, attention has returned to the measures the Chicago Cubs will have to take once the offseason resumes in order to be competitive in 2022.

The direction in which the Cubs are headed for the 2022 season remains unclear. After the team traded players like first baseman Anthony Rizzo, shortstop Javier Baez, third baseman Kris Bryant and outfielder Joc Pederson before the Major League Baseball trade deadline in 2021, the Cubs were expected to enter a period of rebuilding. The idea of ​​trading veteran players and restocking the farming system seemed like a real option for the Cubs in 2022, especially after the prospect haul the team received at last season’s deadline.

Despite speculation that the Cubs were headed for a rebuild for the 2022 season, the team has approached this offseason in a way that would suggest it’s looking to fight back. Prior to the December 1 lockout, the Cubs made three acquisitions in which they spent a significant amount of money.

The three acquisitions the Cubs had included a $10 million waiver request for veteran starting pitcher Wade Miley; a 2 year old. $13 million contract with backup catcher Yan Gomes; and a 3-year, $71 million deal with free agent starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. These acquisitions, more importantly, the money spent on these acquisitions does not signal a team ready to rebuild in the 2022 season.

The Chicago Cubs could look to Japan in a bid to improve their projected offensive numbers for 2022.

There’s a new report out of Japan that also seems to suggest the Cubs don’t plan to rebuild in the 2022 season. Japanese media is reporting that the Cubs will be one of four finalists for Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki. Suzuki was transferred by his NPB last November and will be able to do so as part of Major League Baseball contract negotiations once the lockout is concluded.

Although not as prolific as Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, Suzuki is widely regarded as one of the best hitters to transition from Japan to Major League Baseball. Last season in Japan, Suzuki had a .317/.433/.636/1.069 clip in 538 plate appearances to go along with 38 home runs and 88 RBIs. Even allowing for adapting to the Major League Baseball style of play, Suzuki projects to still be an above average power hitter.

There is no doubt that the Cubs will have to resolve the question marks that exist within their starting roster before the 2022 season. Suzuki would apparently be an ideal candidate for the Cubs given that the team is currently underpowered and will have an opening in the outfield.

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