Mets cap spectacular spending spree with Kodai Senga signature

Kodai Senga Mets rumors
Kodai Senga (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

In a matter of weeks, the Mets took what was their most significant uncertainty and transformed it into a strength.

Kodai Senga is headed to Queens, agreeing to a five-year, $75 million deal late Saturday night to round out what has become one of the more impressive-looking rotations in baseball. 

The 29-year-old Japanese product — who played 11 seasons with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball — now joins a rotation headlined by Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander where he’ll likely slot into the No. 3 spot. He’ll then be flanked by Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana in some combination at the Nos. 4 and 5 spots. 

In 2022, Senga went 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 144 innings pitched for the Hawks. He owns a career 2.59 ERA across 11 NPB seasons.

The right-hander’s two headlining pitches are a fastball that lives in the upper 90s and a “ghost” forkball that is his putaway pitch. Work must be done on his tertiary pitch, the slider, as well as his control. He averaged 3.4 walks per nine innings in a league whose hitters aren’t as patient as Major League Baseball’s.

Regardless, Senga will find his bearings in the United States with two future Hall of Famers in Scherzer and Verlander — the latter signing a two-year, $86 million pact to join the Mets earlier this month just days after Jacob deGrom fled to the Texas Rangers in free agency. 

Verlander was the headlining acquisition of a staggering spending spree prompted by owner Steve Cohen, who once again is proving there is no expense too large to put together a winning ballclub. 

Since Nov. 6, the Mets have spent roughly $460 million in the free-agent contracts of Verlander, Senga, Edwin Diaz (five years, $102 million), Quintana (two years, $26 million), Brandon Nimmo (eight years, $162 million), and David Robertson (one year, $10 million). 

The Mets’ payroll for the 2023 season currently sits at approximately $345 million, which is by far the highest in Major League Baseball. Add the penalties for passing luxury tax thresholds and that number swells to $421 million — obviously, an expense Cohen is comfortable with.

For more on the Mets and Kodai Senga, visit AMNY.com