The Mets have agreed to a five-year, $75 million deal with the right-hander Kodai Sengareports Andy Martino of SNY (Twitter connections). Senga’s contract also has no-trade protection and an opt-out after the 2025 season, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Going through Twitter). The deal will become official when Senga passes a medical. Senga is represented by the Wasserman agency.
The contract figure matches MLBTR’s projection exactly, with Senga ranking 11th on the list of the top 50 free agents for the offseason. There are no other posting fees involved in the Mets’ costs, as Senga became a full free agent after exercising an opt-out clause in his contract with the Nippon Professional Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. Baseball.
Senga turns 30 in January and leaves the Hawks after 11 outstanding seasons. The right-hander has a 2.59 ERA, 28.22% strikeout rate and 9.33% walk rate over 1,089 innings at Japan’s highest level. Senga’s four-pitch arsenal is highlighted by an excellent splitter and a fast ball that consistently hits the upper 90s. Recce reports indicate that Senga’s control is inconsistent at times, but otherwise many pundits believe his tricks can translate very well to North American baseball.
Just over a year ago, Senga signed a new five-year contract with the Hawks, albeit with the important opt-out condition he was widely expected to use, assuming he has accumulated the time of service necessary for a total gratuity. agency. This was a key step in the process, as the Hawks (unlike several other NPB teams) do not release their players for the NPB/MLB posting system. Discussing his plans to switch to North American baseball, Senga said last year that “as a ball player, it’s essential to live my life always aiming higherand it’s safe to say that he more than achieved his goals in Japanese baseball. The right-hander’s resume includes five Japan Series titles with the Hawks, three NPB All-Star appearances, two Pacific League Best Nine team placements, and (outside of league play) a medal. Olympic gold with the Japan baseball team in 2021.
Between Senga’s potential and the overall demand to kick off this offseason, it’s no surprise that several teams are watching his market. The Red Sox, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners and Padres were the other clubs known to have an interest, and agent Joel Wolfe suggested a dozen MLB teams had checked his client. Several five- and six-year offers were on the table for Senga, and although he chose a five-year option from the Mets, the opt-out gives Senga the chance to re-enter the market and possibly land additional years. and more. money as he enters his 33-year-old season.
Heading into the offseason, the Mets took on the challenge of a large class of free agents that included a closer star (Edwin Diaz) and most of the bullpen, their starting center fielder (Brandon Nimmo), and the majority of their starting rotation as Jacob of Grom, Taijuan walkerand Chris Bassit. However, with the Winter Meetings barely over, New York has already solved most of those holes by re-signing Diaz and Nimmo, and replacing that trio of starters with Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana, and now Senga. If that wasn’t enough, the Mets bolstered the relief corps even further by signing David Robertson and the acquisition Brooks Raley in a Rays business.
There was no doubt that owner Steve Cohen was willing to keep spending in order to keep his 101-game winning team in line to be in contention for the World Series. However, the spending spree has just continued to reach record highs, as Roster Resource forecasts the Mets for a payroll of around $334.68 million in 2023 and a luxury tax number of just over $349.5 million.
This not only eclipses the $233 million Competitive Balance Tax threshold, it even exceeds the fourth and highest tier ($293 million) of the CBT. The fourth tier was instituted in the last collective agreement as an additional penalty for overspending and was unofficially dubbed the “Steve Cohen tax” since the owner made no secret of his intentions to increase payroll sharply. Since this is the Mets’ second straight year of tax overruns, they will face a repeat penalty twice, as well as a 90% overrun tax on any dollar spent over the bar. $233 million. That equates to about $104.85 million in tax penalties — according to Fangraphs, 11 teams are currently expected to spend no more than $104.85 million on their entire 2023 payroll.
With the Mets already in uncharted financial territory, even bigger moves could be in store for Cohen and GM Billy Eppler. Given that the luxury tax doesn’t seem to be more than a speed bump for the Amazins’ plans, the club could continue to add high-priced talent, and even not bother trying to get under the 293 threshold. million dollars for any kind of slight decrease in his CBT bill.
On paper, the bullpen looks like it could use a bit more reinforcement, and the receiver also looks like a weaker position except the best prospect. Francisco Alvarez expected to get more major league playing time in 2023. The rotation now looks completely set with Max ScherzerVerlander, Senga, Quintana and Carlos Carrasco making up the starting five. Speculatively, the Mets might even feel comfortable enough in their depth to buy one of their back-up starters (i.e. David Peterson, Taylor Megill, Elieser Hernandez) in business talks with a team in need. Or, given the older ages and some of the injury uncertainty surrounding the Mets’ starters, New York could also simply opt to retain as much throwing depth as possible.
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