Home News Mets to meet with top Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga

Mets to meet with top Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga

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The Mets are expecting to meet face-to-face with the top Japanese pitcher expected to jump to MLB during this offseason.

Free agent right-hander Kodai Senga has let his representatives know that he wants to do a tour of interested clubs — especially those from big markets — to get a feel for the cities and people involved. That will include a sit-down with the Mets, a source confirmed to The Post. Senga’s scheduled meeting with the Mets was first reported by SNY.

Senga, who will turn 30 in January, went 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA this year with 156 strikeouts in 144 innings while pitching for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

Senga was heavily scouted by MLB teams this season, including by the Mets. Like many interested clubs, the Mets not only had their Asian-based scout watch Senga, but had U.S.-based pro scouts also go to Japan to gauge Senga. The Yankees also used that technique, but as of Tuesday night, there was no firm meeting set for the Yankees with Senga.

Kodai Senga
The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Imag

Mets general manager Billy Eppler has past experience in landing major talent from Japan. Before he arrived in Queens, as GM of the Angels, Eppler helped scout and recruit two-way star Shohei Ohtani to Anaheim in 2017. While the Yankees assistant GM, Eppler would scout Japan annually.

Senga is a disciple of Padres All-Star Yu Darvish, with the two often training together stateside in the offseason. He is known for a high-octane fastball that can reach triple digits and one of the world’s best forkball/splits, according to multiple MLB officials.

But Senga may need to improve his breaking ball in MLB, while a few nagging elbow injuries and transitioning from pitching every sixth day to every fifth day are also potential concerns.

The Mets are in the market to add a starting pitcher, if not multiple arms, especially if they are unable to re-sign free agent Jacob deGrom. Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker are also free agents, with the Mets’ current rotation projecting to include Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson and Tylor Megill.

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