Dodgers must chase Japanese star Seiya Suzuki this offseason

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Outfielder Seiya Suzuki #51 of Team Japan (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Outfielder Seiya Suzuki #51 of Team Japan (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the best farm systems in the game, but this roster has been constructed on the back of some very risky moves in free agency and on the trade market. If the Dodgers want to get the checkbook out again this offseason, they could look to chase outfielder Seiya Suzuki.

Suzuki, who is currently starring for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan, has won just about every individual honor imaginable at age 27. Suzuki is a five-time All-Star, a four-time member of the NPB’s “Best Nine” team, one-time batting champion, and three-time Golden Glove winner.

With the NPB season still going on due to the Summer Olympics pause, the expectation is that he’ll pick up a few more awards in 2021.

This might be Suzuki’s last year in Japan, however, as is confirming that the sensational outfielder is going to be posted, making him one of the top available free agents this offseason.

Suzuki has already been compared to Ronald Acuna Jr. given how he can make an impact as a hitter, defender, and base-stealer. Any team worth their salt will try to make a run at him this offseason, and the Dodgers should not exclude themselves from this pursuit.

The Dodgers need to make a run at Seiya Suzuki.

In nine NPB seasons, Suzuki has hit .315 with a .945 OPS, 182 home runs, 562 RBI, and 82 stolen bases. After setting a career-high in steals with 25 in 2019, he set a new personal best with 38 home runs in 2021. The power is impressive, and it should translate to the States.

Not only are those numbers extremely impressive, but if you extrapolate them out to 650 plate appearances, they compare favorably to those of Shohei Ohtani and are in the same tier as Hideki Matsui right before he joined the Yankees. If he turns into one of those two, the Dodgers would be justified in their decision to chase after him.

While AJ Pollock, Cody Bellinger, and Mookie Betts make up a quality starting outfield, a player of Suzuki’s caliber is worth breaking up that trio for. There aren’t many players with his combination of power, speed, discipline, and bat control, meaning LA would be foolish to not at least consider him.

At just 27 years old, Suzuki has his best years in baseball ahead of him. The Dodgers have rarely been shy when it comes to overspending on international free agents, and if they can swoop him up and prevent him from going to a rival in National League, that could have a major impact on the postseason races for years to come.