According to multiple reports, Japanese pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano is expected to decide where he will pitch in the 2020 season by Tuesday, which means it could be a matter of hours to know if he decided to pitch for the New York Mets, the San Francisco Giants, the Toronto Blue Jays, or even his old team, the Yomiuri Giants.
Those are the teams that are still in the running for Sugano’s services, and while last-minute suitors could arrive, it appears an unlikely scenario. The Mets have a clear hole in their starting rotation, especially if Noah Syndergaard, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, experiences any setbacks.
However, it would appear that the Mets may lose out on him because they are engaged in other fronts, as well. That’s what MLB Network reporter Jon Heyman explained on Monday.
Heyman says that while the Mets and Sugano’s representatives have been in constant contact over a potential deal with Sugano, “it appears their main focus is elsewhere.”
The Mets could use Sugano, but…
The Mets, with new owner Steve Cohen at the helm, are doing their homework and touching base with virtually every major free agent available in the market. They are said to like Trevor Bauer (team president Sandy Alderson has said his personality would fit in New York) and they are considered the favorites, along with the Blue Jays, to land center fielder George Springer.
Rotoworld speculates that “it sounds like talks never got serious, or at least haven’t yet,” while also saying that “perhaps they feel like Jake Odorizzi and Masahiro Tanaka could be a better fit.”
Sugano has until Thursday, January 7 to sign with a major league team, otherwise, he would return to the Yomiuri Giants, with which he won 14 games and had a sub-2.00s ERA in the 2020 campaign.