Japanese Pitching Star Coming To MLB

With a 1.94 ERA this season along with a 1.06 WHIP and an impressive four-pitch mix, Japanese pitching star Kodai Senga is ready to try his hand in the big leagues. He's officially filed his papers with his club the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks according to Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times, and will be an international free agent. 

Senga will be 30 by Opening Day 2023, and presents another high-end option for teams looking for pitching help around the majors.  He sported a 156:49 K/BB ratio in 144 innings for the Hawks in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, and he will no doubt be strongly pursued around the majors. 

The upper tier of the free agent pitching market is going to be mighty costly this winter. Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon will not come cheaply, each likely to top the $100M mark in total contract value. 

Senga will undoubtedly present a more economical option, both due to his age, and the great unknown of a Japanese pitcher's effectiveness in making the transition to North America. For every Shohei Ohtani and Yu Darvish, there's a Yusei Kikuchi or Hideki Irabu.

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports