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Hiroshima Carp outfielder Seiya Suzuki’s plan to play in Major League Baseball moved a step closer to fruition on Sunday when MLB told its 30 clubs they will have until Dec. 22 to sign the 27-year-old through the posting system.

Suzuki’s 30-day posting window began on Monday in the United States. The right-handed-hitting outfielder, a career .315 hitter, belted a career-high 38 home runs, third-best in Japan’s Central League in 2021, while leading the league in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average.

“I have no such desire to get it done quickly,” Suzuki said at a team practice in Hiroshima. “It will happen the way it happens.”

According to MLB.com, the Texas Rangers and New York Mets are likely to be strong bidders in the market for the athletic right fielder, who batted cleanup for Japan’s gold medal-winning Olympic team.

A likely wildcard in the timeline of Suzuki’s move may be an MLB owners’ decision to halt dealings with players when their current labor agreement expires on Nov. 30.

Should owners initiate a lockout, all negotiations with players would be paused. If Suzuki fails to sign before a pause, the remainder of his 30-day signing window would resume after a new labor deal is struck.

If Suzuki fails to reach an agreement at the end of his signing window, he will be returned to the Carp. If he does sign, the Carp will receive a posting fee calculated on the size of his contract.

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