New York Yankee News: Tomoyuki Sugano will be posted tomorrow December 8th, could the Yankees pounce?

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

Tomoyuki Sugano, arguably the best pitcher in Japan, will be posted tomorrow, December 8th, and become available to the New York Yankees and other major league teams. Teams will have until January 7th to sign him. The New York Yankees have some tough decisions to be made during this offseason. The decisions will be mostly with what to do with their pitching rotation headed by Gerrit Cole, but there are no definites beyond that.

There may be some relief for the Yankees as Luis Severino is expected back before the All-Star break, returning from Tommy John surgery. If the Yankees decide to take back their 2019 most winningest pitcher Domingo German who was suspended for the 2020 season, They will have Cole, Montgomery, German, and at some point Luis Severino. But that still leaves a position or two to fill. One of those may be filled by Deivi Garcia.

The Yankees will most likely need another starting arm. But after a season of no money caused by the coronavirus, it’s hard to tell if the Yankees will penny-pinch or spend a modest amount to bolster the starting lineup.

The New York Yankees since the 1990s have had an interest in players that played well for Japanese teams. Hideki Irabu, Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Kei Igawa, Hiroki Kuroda, Ryota Igarashi, and Masahiro Tanaka. Now they could be looking at Tomoyuki Sugano to solve their pitching rotation.

Now that the Japanese season is complete, his record is 14-2 with an ERA of 1.97. For his career, he is 104-52 with an ERA of 2.34. The 31-year-old righty is 6′ 1″ and weighs 210 pounds. He a three-quarters delivery, Sugano throws two fastballs (four-seam and sinker sitting at 90-93 mph, a solid slider, a curveball, and a forkball. He is known for his excellent command, posting a BB/9 of 1.8 in his Japanese career.

Sugano has a solid ability to generate weak contact, holding opposing hitters to a 55% ground ball rate. To top it off, he can help himself out with the glove once the pitch is released. His pitching style makes him a good fit for the Yankee Stadium short porch.

Major League scouts have said that Sugano would make a solid number three starter in the Major Leagues. A posted player has a month-long window to reach an agreement with an MLB team from the date of posting, and his Japanese team receives a fee at a percentage of his contract if he signs with a major league team.

There is a change in the situation, considering that the free-agent season will be penny-pinched by most teams; Sugano could wait until next season to make his move to the Major Leagues; nevertheless, he will be posted tomorrow. It is anyone’s guess if any team will immediately pounce, being that this is the week of the Winter Meetings.

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