Kodai Senga Signing 5-Year, $75 Million Contract With Mets

While Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander were among the best starting pitchers available in free agency when the offseason began, the group grew to include Kodai Senga of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Nippon Professional Baseball.

Senga opted out of his contract with the Hawks in order to become a free agent and pursue opportunities in Major League Baseball. Because the right-hander reached nine years of service time in Japan, he was an outright free agent and any MLB team did not own Fukuoka a posting fee to sign him.

The Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers were reported as interested teams during various points of free agency.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Senga signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Mets to punctuate their flurry of activity:

Right-hander Kodai Senga and the New York Mets agreed on a five-year, $75 million contract Saturday night, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN, confirming reports, adding the prized pitcher from Japan as part of a free agent spending frenzy that has rocketed the Mets’ payroll past previous records.

Senga went 11-6 with a 1.89 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 148 innings pitched across 23 games for the Hawks, recording 159 strikeouts against 50 walks this past season. The effort was one of the best seasons the right-hander has turned in.

The Mets signing Senga further bolstered their starting rotation in the wake of losing deGrom to the Rangers. The Mets’ first response was to sign Verlander to a two-year, $86.66 million contract. His deal includes a vesting option for 2025 and a $43.33 million average annual value that tied Max Scherzer’s record.

The Dodgers were linked to Verlander and Senga, but appear to have held more serious interest in the 2022 American League Cy Young Award.

Mets surpass ‘Steve Cohen tax’ line

As part of the 2022-2026 collective bargaining agreement, a ‘Steve Cohen tax’ threshold in an effort to dissuade the Mets’ owner from free spending. In the first offseason with that

In addition to Verlander and Senga, the Mets have signed Edwin Díaz (five years, $102 million), Brandon Nimmo (eight years, $162 million), David Robertson (one year, $10 million) and José Quintana (two years, $26 million) this offseason.

The Mets payroll for the 2023 season is projected to be well north of $300 million and with luxury tax penalties, their total bill figures to surpass $400 million.

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