MLB Rumors: New Team Enters The Kodai Senga Sweepstakes

Japanese pitching star Kodai Senga immediately jumps into the 2nd tier of starting pitchers on the free agent market when he arrives (perhaps behind only Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon). Since no team ever has enough starting pitching, Senga will have plenty of interest. And now count the Los Angeles Angels—a team desperate for quality starting pitching—as having entered the fray according to MLB Insider Jon Morosi.

The Angels, naturally, already have quite the Japanese import in Shohei Ohtani. How much of a good word he'd put in about the team, however, is in question, as he was outwardly unhappy with how the 2022 season went in Anaheim. 

Morosi also noted the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers as interested parties, and the Rangers were the team that introduced Yu Darvish to the majors in 2012. 

We recently had a look at three other top suitors for Senga, much of it based on Japanese player connections. Since then, the Seattle Mariners have also thrown their hat in the ring; they also have quite the history with imports from the Far East, as Japanese legend Ichiro Suzuki came to the Pacific Northwest in 2001, and was an All-Star there for 10 of his first 11 seasons. 

Senga had a 1.94 ERA in 2022 for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, while striking out 156 batters in 144 innings. He has a lifetime 2.59 ERA in 11 seasons and is a five-time Japan Series champion and two-time league strikeout champ.