The San Francisco Giants have interest in a star Japanese outfielder, which may offer a window into how likely they are to re-sign Kris Bryant or pursue another free-agent expected to command a monster contract.
In addition to the five teams we mentioned as potential fits for Seiya Suzuki Wednesday, Audacy Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman reports that both the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners have interest in the 27-year-old.
Suzuki was posted by his NPB team -- the Hiroshima Carp -- 10 days before Major League Baseball's lockout began. Because he had a 30-day window to negotiate with MLB teams, Suzuki and his representatives will have 20 more days to work out a deal once the transaction freeze is lifted.
After homering 38 times and posting a 1.072 OPS for the Carp this past season, MLB Trade Rumors projected at the outset of the offseason that Suzuki would land a five-year/$55 deal, with an addition $10.125 million tacked on to cover his posting fee. Still, when you factor in that in addition to his offensive profile, Suzuki possesses a cannon arm in right field, paying between $65 and $70 million total for half a decade of his play seems like it would be pretty reasonable:
And that may appeal to the Giants, who ESPN's Kiley McDaniel hears "aren't looking to go after nine-figure targets." That would take them out of the running for re-signing Kris Bryant, who posted a .788 OPS in 51 games with the team this past year after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs. Under these circumstances, Farhan Zaidi and company probably aren't likely to make pushes for Nick Castellanos or Michael Conforto either.
Suzuki, however, would be much cheaper production. It's unclear whether Suzuki would push Mike Yastrzemski to another position, or if the Giants believe he could thrive at an outfield position other than right field. Given that Oracle Park has one of the most spacious outfields in the league, getting adequate to above-average defenders in the outfield is probably more crucial for the Giants than any other team in the league.
It's possible that the Giants could also consider Kyle Schwarber, who could be an option in left field or at DH, assuming that becomes universal as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. If Brandon Belt isn't re-signed after the 2022 season, Schwarber could also become an option at first base. Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of The Miami Herald say Schwarber is targeting a three-year deal “in the $60 million range.” An All-Star in 2021, Schwarber will turn 29 in March.