New York Mets are ‘looking into’ Japanese righty Tomoyuki Sugano

Tomoyuki Sugano, New York Yankees
Mar 21, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Japan pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano (11) throws a pitch during the first inning against United States during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Despite already welcoming Marcus Stroman back into the fold and signing Jerad Eickhoff to a minor league deal, the New York Mets are not done adding to their rotation. They have interest in Trevor Bauer, the best free agent starter available, and have internal connections with Jake Odorizzi, via pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and signee Trevor May.

The group is in need of one or two additional arms, since there isn’t much certainty behind ace Jacob deGrom. While he’s reportedly ahead of schedule, the Mets don’t know exactly when Noah Syndergaard will return, and Steven Matz’s form is a question mark after a horrid 2020. David Peterson was a revelation as a rookie and should have a spot in the rotation.

As the Mets continue to monitor the market to add another arm, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the team is “looking into” Japanese right-hander Tomoyuki Sugano.

Watch the Mets!

“Watch the Mets on this,” one executive told Sherman. “I think they have as good a chance as anyone.” The Mets haven’t been particularly active in major international signings in recent years, as Rotoworld notes, but Sugano is a very talented arm that could change the equation for them.

Sugano, who is 31 years old, has posted a 2.35 ERA over eight seasons in Japan and was named as the Central League’s best pitcher in 2017 and 2018. Some talent evaluators say that he may be the second-best starter available after Bauer.

According to the posting rules, the Yomiuri Giants made him available and any contract with an MLB team needs to be finalized by 5 p.m. ET on January 7, 2021. As of now, there are no clear favorites to land the right-hander.

With new owner Steve Cohen in charge, the Mets have the financial power to be the highest bidders on Sugano. Will that be the case?