Seiya Suzuki is a Chicago Cub.
The Cubs announced Friday they’ve signed Suzuki, the star Japanese outfielder and a top free agent this winter, to a five-year deal.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but it's worth a reported $85 million — $99.6 million when including the posting fee the Cubs will pay Suzuki’s club in Japan. The total package is the fifth-highest contract the Cubs have given a player ever.
Suzuki, 27, is a five-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. In nine seasons with the Hiroshima Carp, he hit .315/.414/.570.
Last year he batted .317/.433/.640 with 38 home runs and 88 RBIs in 132 games, winning his second Central League batting title while leading the league in on-base percentage.
He also helped Japan with a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The Cubs were among a half dozen suitors for Suzuki. Team chairman Tom Ricketts flew to Arizona Monday to make a pitch to Suzuki.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the deal will pay Suzuki $12 million in 2022 (including a $5 million signing bonus). His biggest single-season salary is in 2024 ($20 million) — the year Jason Heyward’s contract falls off the Cubs books.
Suzuki is a potential building block for the “next great Cubs team.” He’ll help the Cubs in the short term and is young enough to project as a productive veteran throughout the five-year deal.
That could fit the developmental timeline of the Cubs’ top prospects, who are a couple years away from the big leagues.