Tomoyuki Sugano is now in the United States and could be announcing his decision shortly.
It appears that the next free agent domino to fall could happen within the next few days. According to a report from Hochi News and confirmed by MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, Tomoyuki Sugano has arrived in the United States to make his decision on where to pitch in 2021.
Morosi specifically notes three teams as likely destinations for Sugano, including the New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, and San Francisco Giants. The Boston Red Sox have also been a team frequently connected to Sugano throughout his posting period.
Sugano’s will have to make his decision by January 7th, but now that he’s here in the United States, a final decision could be announced shortly.
Considered one of the top available starting pitchers on the market, Tomoyuki Sugano would provide his new club with a veteran mid-rotation arm who owns a career 101-49 record with a 2.32 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and more than 1,200 career strikeouts with just 265 free passes allowed in 1,360 innings in eight professional seasons in Japan.
All four teams previously mentioned would greatly benefit from having Sugano in their rotation, but it’s the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays who have been two of the more aggressive teams this offseason, up to this point.
The Mets have already added catcher James McCann to the mix and appear to be heavy favorites to land outfielder George Springer. Sugano would join a rotation that already has perennial Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom at the top of the rotation, with Marcus Stroman, a promising young arm in David Peterson, and the eventual return of Noah Syndergaard behind him.
With Sugano in the fold, the Mets will roll out a starting rotation capable of matching up with any other rotation in the NL East.
But don’t count out the Toronto Blue Jays from making a hard push up the very last second.
If Toronto wants to take a shot at supremacy in the AL East, they will need additional pitching help behind Hyun Jin Ryu and the extremely promising, but very young, Nate Pearson. Re-signing Robbie Ray isn’t going to be enough to cut it.
The recent trade of Blake Snell from Tampa Bay to San Diego could also bring other teams heavily into the mix for Tomoyuki Sugano. If the Red Sox are able to have a bounce-back year from guys like J.D. Martinez, and Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale can come back healthy in 2021, the Red Sox are suddenly contenders with the addition of a talent like Sugano.
As for the Giants, they are still in the market for another starter after bringing in Anthony DeSclafani, but will they feel the need to keep up with the Padres and Dodgers and make a splash of their own?
There doesn’t appear to be a clear-cut favorite for Tomoyuki Sugano at the moment, but fans of the New York Mets or Toronto Blue Jays could be in store for some good news in the coming days. After a largely quiet offseason, it’s time for some of these reportedly “aggressive” teams to make some real noise.