The Mets continued their holiday spending spree Saturday night with the signing of Japanese star Kodai Senga. The right-handed fireballer reportedly agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract to come stateside and take his infamous forkball to Queens.
The Mets showed a lot of interest in Senga earlier in the offseason and continued to work out an agreement with him during the Winter Meetings in San Diego last week. There was some debate in San Diego over whether or not a team should give him a five-year contract. The club has some questions about how he projects in the Major Leagues but they are the same questions every Japanese pitcher has to face.
A three-time Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star, a five-time Japan Series champion and an Olympian, Senga helps round out the Mets’ rotation now and in the future.
Senga, who will be 30 in January, went 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA last season for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He’s been one of the best pitchers in the league since he entered in 2012 as a 19-year-old.
Senga’s calling card is his ultra-deceptive forkball/splitter and he throws a fastball in the high 90s. He’s close with San Diego Padres ace Yu Darvish and the thinking is that Darvish’s advice could help him adapt quickly to the North American game.
Senga will likely slot in as the No. 3 starter behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, and ahead of Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana.
A week ago, Jacob deGrom signed a contract with the Texas Rangers. Since then, the Mets have added starting pitchers Verlander, Quintana and Senga, re-signed homegrown outfielder Brandon Nimmo to an eight-year contract, and bolstered their bullpen by signing right-hander David Robertson and trading for left-hander Brooks Raley. Earlier in the offseason, they locked up closer Edwin Diaz for five years.
In total, the club has committed more than $360 million since deGrom’s exit. The 2023 CBT payroll is projected to be around $350 million, and with penalties, it could reach $400 million.
It’s a far cry from the days when the Mets were forced to shop in the bargain bins. There will be money coming off the books in a few years and prospects due to contribute, but for now, owner Steve Cohen is spending to build a winner.
Source: Berkshire mont