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2022-23 MLB free agency: Top 3 best fits for Kodai Senga

2022-23 MLB free agency: Top 3 best fits for Kodai Senga
Japan pitcher Kodai Senga (41) throws in the eighth inning against USA during the 2017 World Baseball Classic. (Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Matthew Morris

CHICAGO (BVM) – Kodai Senga will be making the transition from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball this offseason as the 29-year old starting pitcher tests out free agency. Senga is a three-time All-Star, two-time Golden Glove winner, five-time Japan Series champion and two-time league strikeout champ. Last season with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, Senga went 11-6 with 156 strikeouts and a 1.94 ERA. 

Senga is a solid starting pitcher with a fastball that is in the mid-to-high-90s but can hit the triple digits. He is also known for his “Ghost Fork” ball. The Japanese right-hander will be a nice addition to any starting rotation, especially teams trying to make a postseason run. Here are the three best fits for Senga ahead of free agency.

Other teams to pay attention to: Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox

San Diego Padres

The Padres are all in on making it to the World Series over the next few seasons and Senga would be a great addition to the team’s rotation. San Diego also has Yu Darvish, a friend of Senga’s, who is also represented by the same agent. With everyone focusing on Jacob deGrom, the Padres could add a strong right hand to the middle of their rotation by signing Senga.

Chicago Cubs 

Chicago is rumored to already have an inside track at signing Senga. They have the money to do it and need pitching. Cubs’ rookie right-fielder Seiya Suzuki spoke highly of Chicago to Senga and they both have the same agent. Senga’s agent has said that the Cubs would be a good fit for the 29-year old right-hander. Chicago is in rebuild mode and adding Senga would help to make them competitive in 2023.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers have been one of the teams that are going to take a shot at signing New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom. He won’t come cheap and there will be plenty of other suitors. If Texas can’t entice deGrom to become a Ranger, Senga could be a great consolation prize.