Tomoyuki Sugano will not be making his way to Queens, after all.
Multiple reports on Monday revealed that the New York Mets are out of the star Japanese pitcher’s sweepstakes, meaning they’ll have to look elsewhere for their much-needed mid-rotational help.
The Mets had been linked in recent weeks with a pursuit of the 31-year-old right-hander along with the likes of the Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants.
Sugano’s decision is expected to come by Tuesday at the latest with his one-month posting deadline expiring on Jan. 7.
As per an agreement between Major League Baseball and the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization, if Sugano does not sign with a team during the one-month window, he will have to return to play for the Yomiuri Giants in 2021.
In 196 career games, Sugano went 101-49 with a 2.34 ERA, a 1.032 WHIP, and a 4.58 strikeouts-to-walk ratio while winning the Sawamura Award — Japan’s version of the Cy Young Award — twice. Last season, he went 14-2 with a 1.97 ERA and 0.888 WHIP.
Now out of the Sugano chase, the Mets could pivot to Jake Odorizzi as that potential No. 3 or 4 starter. The 30-year-old has spent the last three seasons with the Twins and owns a career 3.92 ERA over a nine-year career pitching exclusively in the American League.
The Mets have often been mentioned alongside Odorizzi throughout the offseason and signed his former Twins teammate, reliever Trevor May, back in November.
It remains to be seen if the pivot on the Sugano front will impact the team’s standing on top free-agent starting pitcher, Trevor Bauer. The 2020 NL Cy Young Award winner would certainly create one of the most dynamic pitching duos in baseball alongside Jacob deGrom, but his potential price tag of over $30 million annually could impact what the Mets will do throughout the remainder of the offseason — including the pursuit of star free-agent center fielder, George Springer.