Mets eyeing star Japanese pitcher to bolster rotation

Ryan Moran
kodai senga, mets, yankees
March 21, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Japan pitcher Kodai Senga (41) throws in the eighth inning against USA during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are reportedly set to meet with prized target, starting pitcher, Kodai Senga.

Senga is a 29-year-old who has pitched in the Japan Leagues since 2012. He has posted some impressive dominance. In 2022, Senga recorded a 1.89 ERA. It led to an 11-6 record. Over his last four years, Senga has had an ERA of 2.39. Senga has recorded double-digit wins every year since 2015.

Senga is a right-handed pitcher listed at 6-foot, 178 pounds. He has thrown his fastball as hard as 102 mph. Overall, his fastball speed for the year in 2022 averaged out at 96 mph. Senga also throws a splitter.

At the GM meetings just a week ago, Chaim Bloom, Boston Red Sox general manager, summarized Senga as “super-talented, athletic, power stuff. Just a really impressive arm.”

Why Kodai Senga would make sense for the Mets:

Senga is set to meet with a multitude of teams. Knowing Billy Eppler’s experience of scouting Japanese pitchers like Masahiro Tanaka and Shohei Ohtani, the Mets could have a chance of landing the skilled pitcher.

The Mets rotation has three current free agents in Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker. Adding someone of Senga’s talent would help the Mets’ rotation as it undergoes some likely changes this offseason.

The lone concern scouts and front offices have is whether or not Senga can last as a starter. Since his career started in 2012, he has eclipsed 150 innings pitched twice. He has battled some elbow and shoulder injuries. It leads to some reported speculation that he may be better served in the bullpen, where the Mets also happen to need some help.

While there should, of course be concerns without a proven track record in the MLB, Senga has upside and could potentially make for a terrific return on investment for the Mets. He has the talent, youth, and success in the past that ultimately makes Senga a polarizing option for the Mets this offseason.