Another free agent starting pitcher is off the market.
According to SportsNet New York’s Andy Martino, the New York Mets have signed Japanese starter Kodai Senga.
What is more surprising, is the contract that Senga signed. His contract numbers also come from Martino, as the 29-year-old signed a 5-year, $75,000,000, which has an annual average of $15,000,000.
Pitching for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in 2022, the 29-year-old righty had a 1.94 ERA in 144 innings pitched. Furthermore, he had a 27.5 K% and an 8.6 BB%. He had a 2.59 ERA in 1089 innings pitched in Japan for his career.
Senga is known for sitting high 90s (touching over 100 mph) and throwing a nasty forkball. While it remains a question if his success can translate overseas, it appears to only improve the Mets starting rotation, which is already pretty darn good.
Interestingly, the Mets payroll now sits at an absolutely insane $349,570,000, well above the $233,000,000 Competitive Balance Tax limit. It’ll be funny to see them get swept in the National League Divisional Series though!
While it was reported early in the off-season that the Jays could be linked to Senga, it seems unlikely after his agent’s comments about visiting only one country.
So, who remains on the free agent market for the Jays? There isn’t a lot in terms of high-end talent, as only Carlos Rodón fits that regard. There are a few mid-rotation guys such as Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Bassitt, but with the qualifying offer attached to those players, I’m not sure if the Jays would be interested in them.
The Jays still have options to improve the backend of the rotation, as guys like Drew Smyly and Ross Stripling remain available.
However, I still find it more likely that the addition of a starting pitcher will come by a trade. Either way, the off-season needs to pick up soon!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.