Mets agree to 5-year, $75 million deal with Japanese right-hander Kodai Senga – The Denver Post

The Mets continued their holiday spree Saturday night with the signing of Japanese star Kodai Senga. The right-handed fireball has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $75 million deal to come to the United States and take his infamous forkball to Queens.

The Mets showed great interest in Senga earlier in the offseason and continued to negotiate a deal with him during winter meetings in San Diego last week. There was a debate in San Diego about whether or not a team should give him a five-year contract. The club has a few questions about how it projects in the major leagues, but these are the same questions every Japanese pitcher has to face.

A three-time Nippon Professional Baseball star, five-time Japan Series champion and Olympian, Senga helps round out the Mets’ rotation now and in the future.

Senga, who turns 30 in January, went 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA last season for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He’s been one of the league’s top pitchers since joining in 2012 at the age of 19.

Senga’s calling card is his ultra-deceptive forkball/splitter and he throws a fastball in the 90s. He’s close with San Diego Padres ace Yu Darvish and it’s thought Darvish’s advice could help him adapt quickly to the North American game.

Senga will likely be the third starter behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, and ahead of Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana.

A week ago, Jacob deGrom signed a contract with the Texas Rangers. Since then, the Mets have added starting pitchers Verlander, Quintana and Senga, re-signed local outfielder Brandon Nimmo to an eight-year contract and bolstered their bullpen by signing right-hander David Robertson and trading left-hander Brooks Raley. Earlier in the offseason, they locked Edwin Diaz closer for five years.

In total, the club has committed over $360 million since deGrom’s exit. CBT’s payroll in 2023 is expected to be around $350 million, and with penalties, it could reach $400 million.

It’s a far cry from the days when the Mets were forced to shop in the bargain bins. There will be money coming off the books in a few years and prospects should contribute, but for now owner Steve Cohen is spending to build a winner.



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