MLB Rumors: Blue Jays Linked To Free Agent Starter

There are only three truly top-of-the-rotation type of talents on the market this winter, in Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom and Carlos Rodon. With the impending arrival of another arm like Japanese sensation Kodai Senga, with his 1.94 ERA in Japan this season, he will be heavily in demand. Yesterday, we outlined three teams that have already been linked to Senga, then another team entered the sweepstakes. Now, we can count on at least one more joining the fray. 

As noted by MLB Insider Jon Morosi, at the MLB GM Meetings, Toronto Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins says that the Jays "have a 'strong relationship' with Senga’s agent, Joel Wolfe. Atkins said he expects to have dialogue with Senga’s camp. 

The Blue Jays entering the mix isn't surprising, as they are greatly in need of another top starter. But their recent experience with Japanese pitchers isn't great, as their signing of Yusei Kikuchi to a 3-year, $36M contract last offseason has so far blown up in their face. Kikuchi had a 5.19 ERA in his first year in Toronto, with an equally poor 1.50 WHIP. 

But Senga comes with much higher credentials, including that 1.94 ERA last season, being a 3-time All-Star, winning the Japanese strikeout title twice, and being a 5-time Japan Series champion.

Ross Stripling, the Jays' No. 3 starter from the 2022 season, is a free agent, and it's unclear if they'll be able to retain him, although the team is saying the right things

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