Mets finalize 5-year deal with RHP Senga

December 18th, 2022

NEW YORK – An offseason unlike any other for the Mets has continued, as the club announced its five-year contract with Japanese right-hander Kodai Senga on Saturday, a week after news of the deal first broke.

The deal -- worth $75 million, a source told's Mark Feinsand -- includes a full no-trade clause as well as an opt-out clause that will allow Senga to become a free agent after the 2025 season.

It is another significant piece in an offseason that has seen the Mets spend hundreds of millions of dollars on new deals for Edwin Díaz, Justin Verlander, José Quintana, Brandon Nimmo and David Robertson.

Senga, who turns 30 in January, spent 11 seasons in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball organization, all for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Overall, the right-hander posted a 2.59 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 1,089 innings, striking out 28% of the batters he faced, but also walking 9%. In 2022, he had a 1.89 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP over 148 innings for the Hawks.

During the 2017 World Baseball Classic semifinals, Senga pitched two innings of relief against Team USA, striking out five -- Eric Hosmer, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich all went down on strikes against the then-24-year-old.

The 6-foot, 178-pound Senga, who features a 101 mph fastball and a biting splitter, filed for international free agency on Oct. 31, and he was recently declared an international free agent. According to FanGraphs, Senga’s fastball has “exploding” action, but his two breaking pitches -- a cutter and a slider -- are not as effective as the fastball and splitter, particularly when it comes to missing bats.

Senga was not subject to the NPB posting process because he accrued enough service time in the league to file for international free agency. As a result, there is no “release fee” to be paid to his NPB team in order to sign him to a Major League contract.

Adding Senga further bolsters a Mets rotation that earlier this week added the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner in Verlander, who will pair with co-ace Max Scherzer. The Mets also signed Quintana and finalized deals with Robertson and Nimmo, spiking their payroll well over $300 million. The Mets are likely to enter next season with the largest payroll in Major League history.

As things currently stand, the Mets' rotation includes Scherzer, Verlander, Senga, Quintana and Carlos Carrasco, with David Peterson and Tylor Megill serving as periphery options.