3 free agents the Boston Red Sox should try to sign after the MLB lockout

Outfielder Seiya Suzuki #51 of Team Japan (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Outfielder Seiya Suzuki #51 of Team Japan (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Outfielder Seiya Suzuki #51 of Team Japan (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox free agent target No. 1: Seiya Suzuki

In a surprising turn of events, Boston’s top free agent target once the MLB lockout ends might be a player who didn’t even play in the majors last season. The Red Sox are rumored to be one of the most aggressive teams pursuing Japanese superstar outfielder Seiya Suzuki, and he may just end up being the direct replacement for Renfroe in right field if everything goes Boston’s way.

For those not familiar with Suzuki, don’t be ashamed. Suzuki has spent his entire career in Japan playing with the Hiroshima Carp, and he quickly became the subject of much attention from pretty much every MLB team. Last season, Suzuki hit .317 with 38 home runs and 88 RBI’s while playing above average defense in right field.

Adding Suzuki into the fold would help explain why the Sox sent Renfroe to the Milwaukee Brewers for pretty much nothing. Banking on international free agents to become everyday players is a risky proposition (Rusney Castillo, anyone?), but Suzuki appears to be a much safer bet than some of the previous players available. He appears to be a better hitter than the homer-hungry Renfroe, but he will have to prove he can hit MLB pitching early and often.

Suzuki is projected to be looking for a long term deal worth $10-15 million. He has already been posted by Hiroshima, which basically just means MLB teams are free to negotiate with him (once the lockout ends that is). Suzuki’s asking price is definitely worth taking a shot on, and if he can produce like he has done in Japan in the majors, it would be one of the biggest steals in the league.

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Boston has a chance to add a transcendent star to their lineup who fills a position of need for a relatively low cost. With the free agent market already witnessing hundreds of millions of dollars being spent thus far, having the ability to add a player like Suzuki for a reasonable price could be gamechanger. The Red Sox now have ample time to create their plan for free agency once the lockout ends, and they will need to act fast in order to make sure they don’t lose out on the Suzuki sweepstakes.