The Chicago Cubs are in a weird position. Everything about what they have done recently has pointed to an organizational rebuild with the departures of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and others that helped them finally win a World Series a few years ago. While the NL Central seems to be one of the weaker divisions in baseball, those weren’t necessarily the moves of a team that was chomping at the bit to take advantage of that.
However, Chicago has seemingly been connected with several high profile free agents including Carlos Correa which, again, doesn’t follow the same logic. It looks like the Cubs want to get younger and try to get back to being competitive pretty quickly. Their signing today points in that direction as well.
There have been a few false starts in terms of Suzuki’s market as there were reports that he had signed elsewhere earlier. However, it does appear that one of the absolute best players from Japan will in fact be a Cub and has agreed to a five year deal with them.
Suzuki is a highly regarded bat who can hit for power and average although the track record of Japanese players coming over and playing in the majors is mixed. There are certainly success stories like Masahiro Tanaka, Ichiro Suzuki, Shohei Ohtani, and others, but other players have struggled to produce in Major League Baseball. It will be interesting to see how Suzuki’s career unfolds.