January 30, 2023

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Mets sign Japanese ace Kodai Senga to five-year, $75 million deal as Steve Cohen continues spending

Mets sign Japanese ace Kodai Senga to five-year, $75 million deal as Steve Cohen continues spending

The New York Mets had reached an agreement with right-hand agent Kodai Senga, formerly of the Nippon Professional Baseball League, According to SNY. CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden confirms it’s a five-year, $75 million contract. The contract is pending.

Senga, 29, pitched with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks for 11 seasons, accumulating a 2.42 ERA and a 2.92 strikeout percentage to walk over 1,340 innings pitched. Visited the Mets in New York a few weeks ago. Senga entered the season ranked by CBS Sports as the 23rd best free agent. This is what we wrote at the time:

Senga is an accomplished right hander who posted a 1.89 ERA and a 3.18 walk-to-walk ratio this season across 148 innings pitched. Senga’s best courts are energetic mid-90s fastball and devastating “stealth” thornball, a true outdoors field in the major leagues or anywhere else. He’s able to run up the ladder with this combination, turning up the heat before burying the fork. He also throws a good curveball.

CBS Sports later took a closer look at Senga in November, stating that it was not subject to the “posting” system agreement between Major League Baseball and the NPB. Instead, Senga was a true free agent, meaning he was able to negotiate with teams on his own terms. Obviously, Singa has found his match.

Despite losing Jacob deGrom, the Mets have been very active this season, With owner Steve Cohen agreeing to a payroll of over $300 million. Singa joins Edwin Diaz (Five years, $102 million), Justin Verlander (Two years, $86.6 million), Jose Quintana (Two years, $26 million), Brandon Nimmo (Eight years, $162 million) and David Robertson (One year 10 million dollars) as a Mets deal this winter. They also traded left reliever Brooks Raleigh.

FanGraphs estimates Competitive Balance New York’s 2023 tax return payroll at $349.6 million with Senga. The CBT threshold is $233 million and the highest penalty category – the “Cohen tax” – is $293 million. As a repeat offender, the Mets are taxed 90 percent on every dollar over $293 million. Senga’s average annual salary of $15 million will cost Cohen $28.5 million in 2023 due to tax.

The Mets went 101-61 in 2022, matching the Atlanta Braves, but the Braves won the season series and had a tiebreaker, winning the Middle East. New York had a 10 1/2 game lead on June 1—the third-most in baseball history—and they were shut out in three games by San Diego Padres in the Wild Card series.

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