The negotiations lasted one to one and a half hours per team. Along with Seiya, Mrs. Airi is also present. Mrs. Airi participates in all remote negotiations and asks questions. They look like a couple from the royal family.”
On November 29, Joel Wolf, the agent for Seiya Suzuki (27) of Hiroshima, who has announced his intention to challenge the majors through posting, spoke to the press online.
Negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players’ association did not reach a conclusion, and the lockout was imposed. Suzuki, who has hit at least 20 home runs and .300 batting average for six straight years, is a valuable asset this season when there are few notable outfielders. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do it.
It’s very likely that he’ll sign a multi-year contract at a high price, considering he’s only 27 years old, so a four-year deal worth $60 million is probably appropriate.
The teams that are reportedly interested in acquiring him are those that are struggling without a right-handed cannon. The Nationals, Mariners, Rangers, Giants, and Mets ……. What is unusual is that Airi’s wife, 27, is present at the negotiations.
It’s not uncommon for major league players to negotiate contracts with their wives, but I’ve never heard of this happening with Japanese players. I want to make sure that Seiya and Airi take their time to make the right decision,” Wolf said. There is no doubt that Airi’s intentions will have a strong influence on the choice of the team to be transferred to.
Interacting with the wife of a senior major
Mrs. Airi, who married Suzuki in August 2007, is a former top athlete who competed in the London and Rio Olympics as a member of the rhythmic gymnastics team Fairly Japan. She had been preparing for Suzuki’s challenge to the majors for more than a year before Suzuki announced his decision.
I had a radio interview with Mio, the wife of former major league baseball player and then Seibu second team manager Akito Matsui, and we really hit it off, saying, ‘I’ve always wanted to meet her. She was a good cook and gave him advice on recipes and her experience in the majors. She also keeps in touch with Sachi, the wife of Nobuchika Aoki of Yakult and a former TV analyst, and Sahho, the wife of Kenta Maeda of the Twins and a senior member of the Carp, through SNS.
Airi herself is also relearning English and studying hard at cooking and other subjects. Perhaps because she has played many games overseas as an athlete, she is very good at controlling her mental state. I think she is doing all of this with Suzuki’s challenge to the majors in mind,” said another sports reporter.
Mrs. Airi is a strong woman. I wonder what is the intention of Airi’s wife, who is a strong woman, to attend the negotiations with the majors in an unusual way.
Suzuki has been devoted to baseball since he was a child. His father, Muneto, gave him strict instructions in downtown Tokyo (Machiya, Arakawa Ward), and he has almost no memory of studying. The clumsy Suzuki cannot speak English, is not good at speaking, and is not good at negotiations. He is not good at negotiating because he does not speak English and is not good at speaking, and it is not surprising that he feels uncomfortable with a major league baseball team that discusses with many foreign players every year.
Even though he has an agent at the negotiations, he can rest assured that his wife, Airi, is a strong woman. They can ask the team for support not only in the baseball environment but also in the housing and other aspects of their lives. In the majors, family involvement is very important, with frequent “wives’ meetings” and volunteer activities at the stadium. If Suzuki’s negotiations go well, I think the presence of wives will increase in Japan as well.
Negotiating with a couple in a major league. The reason behind Suzuki’s high evaluation may be not only his achievements in Japan but also the presence of his wife Airi.
Photography： Takahiro Kagawa