New York Mets: Tomoyuki Sugano to decide his future by Tuesday

Simeon Woods-Richardson
Mar 23, 2019; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; A view of the Grapefruit League logo on the hat of New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Tomoyuki Sugano sweepstakes are apparently reaching an ending. The right-hander, who is a reliable alternative to the second tier of free agents, needs to agree to terms with an MLB team before January 7, otherwise, he will return to the Yomiuri Giants, his team in the Japanese league. The New York Mets are one of several teams interested in his services.

In addition to the New York Mets, the San Francisco Giants and the Toronto Blue Jays are considered finalists in the race for the talented pitcher. The Mets, in particular, could really use the 31-year-old in their rotation, as there isn’t much certainty after Jacob deGrom.

Noah Syndergaard will eventually return from injury, and it’s sounding like June could be a realistic target. David Peterson and Marcus Stroman will also be in the unit, and Steven Matz or Seth Lugo are penciled next. Sugano can make sure Lugo returns to the bullpen, where he has been lights out in the last few years.

The Mets can really use Sugano

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Sugano is expected to decide by Tuesday where he’ll sign. The hurler is in the United States with his agent, Joel Wolfe, to discuss the final offers from interested MLB teams.

However, if Sugano is unable to reach an agreement in the next couple of days (with the Mets or any other major league team,) it is possible that he returns to the Yomiuri Giants, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The reporter said that the scenario is “not out of question.”

The Yomiuri Giants really want Sugano back in their rotation (who finished 2020 with a 14-2 record and a 1.97 ERA,) and they have offered him a new four-year contract which includes three opt-outs.

Per reports, Sugano isn’t entirely sold on the idea of pitching in America, mainly because of concerns over COVID-19. The Mets are closely monitoring the situation and are ready to pounce.