Kodai Senga is one of the biggest wild cards in free agency.
There is no question that he has nothing left to prove in Japan. He had become one of the top pitchers in Nippon Professional Baseball, a dominant force for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. All that was left was for Senga to fulfill his dream of coming stateside, something that he had requested for years.
Three potential landing spots for Kodai Senga in free agency
That time is now here. Senga filed for international free agency, finally free of the posting system, and is set to come stateside. While there are questions as to whether or not he can stay in the rotation or be a late inning star, he is going to generate plenty of interest. It is just a matter of finding his destination.
Where will NPB superstar Kodai Senga end up in the majors? Let’s take a look at three teams that could end up with the intriguing pitcher.
The Cubs may not be the first team that comes to mind in regards to a pipeline of Japanese talent, but that should change.
After all, they emerged as the victors of the Seiya Suzuki Sweepstakes during the 2021-22 offseason. The Cubs had signed Yu Darvish as a free agent before trading him to the Padres as part of their rebuilding process. And they were the team that brought Kosuke Fukudome over from Japan. Other players have come through the Cubs organization as well as they have sought talent from all over the globe.
That pipeline could pay off. According to Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports, Suzuki has reached out to Senga to convince him to come to Chicago, touting his experience thus far with the Cubs as an attempt to lure him to the North Side. For what it is worth, the Cubs are also reportedly interested in Senga as well.
He would be a perfect fit as the Cubs look to return to the postseason. While they appear to have a pair of solid pieces in the rotation in Marcus Stroman and Justin Steele, they do need other pieces in the rotation. Senga may not be a top of the rotation arm, but he would be a perfect second or third option for a team looking to reach the postseason.
The Chicago Cubs may have an inside track when it comes to landing Kodai Senga. They could certainly use him to help the rotation.