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Seiya Suzuki: Get to know the new Chicago Cubs outfielder

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Seiya Suzuki was one of the top free agents on the market.

His 5-year, $85 million deal with the Chicago Cubs is the largest in Major League Baseball history for a Japanese position player and is surpassed only by pitcher Masahiro Tanaka’s seven-year, $155 million contract with the New York Yankees in 2014.

The right-handed-hitting Suzuki, 27, starred in Nippon Professional Baseball, hitting .309 with a .402 on-base percentage and .943 OPS in nine seasons with the Hiroshima Carp. He posted a hefty .433 OBP while slugging 38 home runs and 26 doubles in 132 games (533 plate appearances) last season.

Get to know the new Cubs outfielder, whose first name is pronounced “Say-yah.”

Seiya Suzuki is named NL Player of the Week for the Cubs right fielder’s 1st full week in the majors

Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki needed only one full week of games to earn his first accolades in Major League Baseball.

Suzuki’s sizzling start has helped the Cubs produce the best offense in the majors, leading in key areas including batting average, on-base percentage, doubles and OPS. Pitchers have struggled to solve Suzuki, who posted a .412/.545/1.059 slash line in his last six games with five runs, seven hits, two doubles, three home runs, five RBIs and five walks to earn the National League Player of the Week award.

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Seiya Suzuki’s plate discipline sets up success in Cubs’ win on opening day

Seiya Suzuki thought he would be nervous going into his major-league debut, but the Japanese star wasn’t, noting “it was actually really fun.”

“In all my at-bats I was able to be myself and enjoy the game today,” Suzuki said through interpreter Toy Matsushita.

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How the Cubs landed Seiya Suzuki: Team pitch in LA, secret Wrigley Field tour and a connection with Yu Darvish

The Cubs waited 99 days for the lockout to end to present its case to Seiya Suzuki for why he should pick the Cubs. What followed over a five-day stretch last week landed the Cubs their star target, giving Suzuki the biggest contract for a Japanese position player in baseball history.

“We did a five-year deal for a reason. This is an investment in him and his future,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “If there are some growing pains or some assimilation challenges, that’s fine with us because we believe that once he gets used to it, we’re really excited about what we’ll get. We will have to be a little bit patient.”

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Kosuke Fukudome — still playing in Japan at age 44 — says Cubs fans ‘will love to see’ Seiya Suzuki play

If anyone understands what awaits Japanese star Seiya Suzuki at Wrigley Field, it’s his countryman Kosuke Fukudome.

Fourteen years after Fukudome became the first Japanese player to play for the Cubs, the 44-year-old’s career continues where it started, in Nippon Professional Baseball, now playing for the Chunichi Dragons.

His fond memories of Chicago haven’t diminished in the years since returning to Japan. Fukudome spoke to the Tribune with Japanese reporter Naoko Sato serving as an interpreter.

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Seiya Suzuki shows humor and dedication with all eyes on his Cubs spring debut: ‘He’s not afraid of a challenge’

A golf cart rumbled past the entrance to the Cubs clubhouse, making a beeline for the complex’s indoor batting cages.

Seiya Suzuki had just completed three innings in his first spring game in front of a lawn-packed crowd of 10,595 at Sloan Park. His first two plate appearances weren’t exactly memorable: two strikeouts looking, including a couple of borderline calls.

Suzuki, accompanied in the golf cart by assistant hitting coach Johnny Washington and interpreter Toy Matsushita, then headed to the cages. His postgame media sessions would have to wait.

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Mike Trout’s influence on Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki goes beyond that viral moment: ‘You know you’re making an impact’

A bashful smile crossed Seiya Suzuki’s face at the mention of his viral moment.

During his introduction as the Cubs’ new right fielder, Suzuki revealed his admiration for Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout. When asked why he chose to wear No. 27, Suzuki replied in English: “I love you, Mike Trout.”

When the topic is broached after a workout at Sloan Park, Suzuki couldn’t help but momentarily cover his face with his hands, a modest grin still peeking through.

“I don’t like to be trending a lot,” Suzuki told the Tribune through interpreter Toy Matsushita. “I don’t like to be well known.”

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Seiya Suzuki ends a spring 0-fer with a home run in front of Cubs fans: ‘It felt really good’

Seiya Suzuki’s final at-bat became his most memorable of the spring.

Suzuki was 0-for-8 when he stepped to the plate in the fourth inning against Seattle Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales. He quickly ended the hitless stretch, though it wasn’t a good start to the at-bat.

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