Japanese free-agent pitcher Koudai Senga has drawn interest from the Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old had a 1.89 ERA across 23 appearances for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks last season in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Across 11 professional seasons, he has a 2.42 ERA in 275 games while averaging 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings.
He filed for international free agency in October and has become one of the top players still available on the market.
Michael Mayer of Metsmerized provided a breakdown of Senga's repertoire:
Michael Mayer @mikemayer22
Kodai Senga has been up to 102 mph, throws a ghost forkball, slider, curve & cutter. 1.89 ERA in 148 innings this year.<br><br>Senga’s agent noted Kodai would like to play in a big market on a win now team and is versed in/wants to learn more about analytics. <br><br> <a href="https://t.co/EUd4RmxucB">pic.twitter.com/EUd4RmxucB</a>
Scouts also got a chance to see him against American hitters as he helped Japan beat the United States in the gold medal game at the 2020 Olympics.
Senga is drawing significant interest around the majors, with the Angels hoping to pair him with fellow Japanese star Shohei Ohtani. The Red Sox could offer Senga a major market, while the Blue Jays could be close to contention after finishing 90-72 last season.
These teams will still have to compete with others who have already made a move for Senga.
Morosi previously reported the Red Sox and New York Yankees had already spoken with Senga's representatives, while the New York Mets and San Diego Padres met with the pitcher himself, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The Chicago Cubs have also monitored him, per Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic.
With aces Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander already signed, it could force teams to be more aggressive in pursuing Senga.