Kodai Senga no closer to desired move to MLB

TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 12: Pitcher Kohdai Senga #41 of Japan throws in the bottom of the fifth inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool E Game Two between Japan and Netherlands at the Tokyo Dome on March 12, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 12: Pitcher Kohdai Senga #41 of Japan throws in the bottom of the fifth inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool E Game Two between Japan and Netherlands at the Tokyo Dome on March 12, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images) /
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Despite his stated desire to head to the majors, Kodai Senga is no closer to having his MLB dream come true.

Kodai Senga has made no secret of his desire to pitch in the majors. He has requested to be posted for four consecutive years now as he has looked to make his dream a reality. However, as he is still under team control in Japan, those requests have not mattered.

That is particularly the case given the team that Senga plays for. The SoftBank Hawks have never put any of their players through the posting system, the only team in Nippon Professional Baseball to refuse to do so. This is a policy that the Hawks have no interest in changing.

And so, Senga will be back with the Hawks for at least one more year. He has received a sizable raise over his 2020 salary, and is set to enter domestic free agency following the 2021 campaign. While the Hawks are interested in signing their ace to a long term deal, he likely has his eye on the 2022 offseason, when he will be an international free agent, able to fulfill that dream.

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When that day comes, Senga is likely to be heavily sought after. He would be 30 years old at the time he could enter free agency and would still have several years of his prime left. Although he may not be the building block he is now, Senga would still be attractive to a contending team in need of an arm.

It is easy to see why that would be the case. He is considered to have some of the best pure stuff in baseball, not only in Japan, but in the world. His fastball sits in the mid 90s, and can reach 99 MPH with impressive spin. Senga uses his devasting splitter as an out pitch, an offering which features incredible depth and movement. He also has a cutter and a fringy slider, both of which could use more work.

That stuff has translated to excellent results with the Hawks. He has posted a 66-35 record during his time in Nippon Professional Baseball, along with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.133 WHiP, striking out 1006 batters with 338 walks in his 860.1 innings. Those result show why he is regarded as one of the best pitchers in the world.

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But Kodai Senga will have to wait to test himself at the major league level. Regardless of his dreams, the SoftBank Hawks refuse to make him available via the posting system.