More teams than expected have been reaching out to negotiate with Hiroshima Carp outfielder Seiya Suzuki, his agent, Joel Wolfe told Japanese media in an online interview on Sunday. Wolfe also said he’s turned down teams wishing to sign Suzuki before a lockout occurs in December.
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Wolfe, who also represents Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, said between eight and 15 teams have expressed interest in the athletic 27-year-old outfielder, adding that was more than he’d expected and that it had been many years since he’s seen teams taking such an aggressive approach, multiple media outlets reported Monday in Japan.
He indicated that Suzuki’s priorities in choosing a destination would be a secure living environment and his team’s focus on winning a championship.
Heaven can wait
In Japanese, the expression “shintenchi” is used to describe one’s new job, career, or home. The word is a combination of “new,” “heaven,” and “earth,” but according to Wolfe, Suzuki is more focused on making a good decision than chasing after a quick buck.
Suzuki’s 30-day posting window will be suspended if MLB owners lock out players as expected, and Wolfe said that despite the desire of some teams to secure a deal before that happens, Suzuki is planning to take his time.
Once the lockout ends, Wolfe said, Suzuki intends to make his decision after visiting teams’ home parks and spring training facilities, and that the amount of the contract will not be the primary factor in his decision.