MLB Rumors: Buzz Surrounding Koudai Senga and Top Players Available | News, scores, highlights, stats and rumours

MLB Rumors: Buzz Surrounding Koudai Senga and Top Players Available | News, scores, highlights, stats and rumours

MLB Rumors: Buzz Surrounding Koudai Senga and Top Players Available

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    AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

    Despite grabbing headlines with big deals and the acquisition of five-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, the New York Mets don’t seem quite done making their mark in this explosive Major League Baseball offseason.

    At least if the reports turn out to be accurate.

    Could the Mets be looking at one of the most coveted free agents in sports in Japanese righty Koudai Senga?

    Find out with this latest collection of rumors from some of the sport’s top experts.

The Mets are still interested in Koudai Senga

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    YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 7: Pitcher Kodai Senga #21 of Team Japan pitches the sixth inning against Team USA during the gold medal game between Team USA and Japan team on day fifteen of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Yokohama Baseball Stadium.  August 7, 2021 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.  (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

    Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

    The New York Mets spent $248.7 million this offseason on the Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and beater Brandon Nimmo. Add an additional $10 million for reliever David Robertson and no one would blame the team for slowing down their pursuit of free agents.

    That doesn’t appear to be in the cards for the team, however, as Andy Martino of SportsNet New York reported that the team remains interested in acquiring Koudai Senga.

    Senga is one of Japan’s top pitchers, with an 11-year career ERA of just 2.42 and a WHIP of 1.096, and has received multiple long-term contract offers, according to Kyle Glaser of Baseball America.

    The interest is not new either. Senga has been the apple of MLB teams’ eyes for years, but now he’s ready to move to the United States, where he hopes to win a Cy Young Award, according to his agent Joel Wolfe.

    “He knows that to be a very successful pitcher here, because he wants to win a Cy Young here, he wants to win the World Series, to be successful that, as he says, he has to step up, step up, step up. So he wanted to know’ How can a team help me do that?'”

    The Mets are certainly in a position to do that, with the league’s best one-two rotation courtesy of Max Scherzer and Verlander and baseball’s most dominant closer in Edwin Diaz (another $102 million ).

    With veteran leadership in the dressing room and an organization clearly willing to do whatever it takes to win, one would be hard-pressed to find another club with a better set-up for Senga right now.

    Except, perhaps, the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, whose pitchers may not be household names but, together, form one of the best rotations in the sport.

Diamondbacks interested in Evan Longoria, Justin Turner

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    San Francisco Giants' Evan Longoria waits for a pitch during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Phoenix.  (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

    AP Photo/Darryl Webb

    The Arizona Diamondbacks have been content to sit back and watch the offseason play out up to this point, but it looks like the franchise is about to get very active.

    Jon Heyman from New York Post reported that the team is interested in acquiring third baseman Evan Longoria.

    Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

    The Diamondbacks are one of five teams in the hunt for Evan Longoria

    The team is also said to be interested in outfielder Justin Turner, also for Heyman.

    Both Longoria and Turner would likely help improve a Diamondbacks team that was fifth-worst against lefties in 2022, for Statmuse.

    The likelihood of the team getting a consistent, everyday starter out of one of them is low given their ages (37 and 38, respectively), but they’ll help improve the batting situation and are solid defenders, even at the end of his career. Nor can the veteran presence they bring to the club be underestimated.

    Both have been to the World Series with previous teams, with Turner winning one in 2020. They have experience in high-pressure, high-profile games and understand what it takes to reach the top of the sport.

    For a Diamondbacks team in the middle of the pack with an average age of 28, they can provide the kind of guidance that will ultimately help the team not only return to the postseason, but also move closer to the championship that all ball players coveted.

    His leadership becomes even more valuable in a loaded National League, which will be incredibly difficult to get out of with the Mets, Phillies, Braves and Padres set to be among the best in all of baseball.

    The Diamondbacks’ interest doesn’t end with Longoria and Turner, however.

D’backs also look at Shintaro Fujinami

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    TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 10: Pitcher Shintaro Fujinami #17 of Japan throws to first base in the top of the fourth inning during Game 6 of Group B of the World Baseball Classic between China and Japan at the Tokyo Dome on March 10, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.  .  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

    Matt Roberts/Getty Images

    The Diamondbacks are one of three teams that have shown interest in Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami, per Nikkan Sports (h/t

    The Giants and Red Sox have also scored in right.

    Fujinami is available for teams to acquire as part of a 45-day window that opened on December 1st.

    Fujinami is interesting because he started his career as a top prospect and lived up to expectations. However, recent issues with his pitch control have proven to be problematic for his game and his ability to remain on a professional Nippon baseball team.

    The 2022 season saw him post his third-lowest ERA (2.77) and career-lowest WHIP (1.118) in NPB and the minors, promising stats for a guy headed in just the wrong direction a season earlier.

    The fact that there are three teams eyeing Fujinami suggests he will be signed and headed to the United States. What he does when he gets here against some of the best batsmen in the world is the question.

    Fujinami would join a rotation with Madison Bumgarner, Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen at the helm. Kelly and Gallen were effective starters for the team, while Bumgarner has the big-game experience to help the young team succeed. The Japanese prospect would likely slide into one of the four spots and may need a trip to the minors just to familiarize himself with the game.

    For a team trying to establish themselves in the NL, there are worse options than taking a chance on a guy who, if he can continue to build on the momentum he had at the end of his 2022 campaign and rediscover the tools that they made him one. of the most coveted prospects in Japan a decade ago, would benefit them considerably by bolstering a solid rotation.

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