Why the LA Angels signing Seiya Suzuki could make perfect sense
By Evan Desai
The LA Angels have not been linked to star Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki, but I can see a world where they may be in the near future.
The Halos need pitching, and now that they've whiffed on so many free agent starters this offseason, they may have to resort to the trade market. If they want to trade for one of the top starting pitchers on the trade market, they'll likely need to trade one of their promising young guns in the outfield.
If the Halos trade Brandon Marsh, who has been the biggest trade piece speculated in these Angels trade talks, they'll be short an outfielder they were planning on having for next year. If the Angels trade Jo Adell, who they've been speculated to trading many times in the past, then they'll be in the same boat. For the record, I don't want them to trade either.
If they do trade one or both of them, they could use another outfielder. Suzuki could be the guy.
The Angels can get the most out of Seiya Suzuki, due to how they handled Shohei Ohtani.
The LA Angels have proven that they can get Nippon Professional Baseball players to adjust to playing in the MLB very quickly with how well they developed and got the most out of Shohei Ohtani. And, while Seiya Suzuki doesn't pitch, he was actually a better hitter in NPB than Ohtani was.
Ohtani hit .286/.358/.500 (0.859 OPS) in five NPB years. Suzuki hit .315/.414/.570 (0.985 OPS) in nine years there.
Suzuki averaged 20.2 home runs per season and 9.1 stolen bases per season. Ohtani averaged 9.6 home runs per season and 2.6 stolen bases per season. Now, Suzuki didn't project the way that Ohtani projected, but the point is, he has what it takes to succeed in the Majors.
Jon Heyman has reported that there are west coast teams in on Suzuki in addition to the Phillies, Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers, who have been rumored to be interested in Suzuki.
Perhaps the Angels are one of them. It appears that isn't the case, as they haven't been directly linked to him previously. If Marsh or Adell gets traded, however, then Suzuki is someone who should be on their radar.
They'd have a chance to swipe him from a couple of AL West rivals that want him in Texas and Seattle (after they have each taken at least one free agent target from the Halos this offseason), and they have proven that they know how to help NPB players translate their game to Major League Baseball.