Dodgers Rumors: San Diego May Be Favorite for Kodai Senga

The Dodgers are in the market for a starting pitcher or two, with quite a few big names like Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, and others on their radar. One of the more intriguing names is Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga, who is coming over from Nippon Professional Baseball at age 29.

Senga is best known for his “ghost” forkball, a disappearing changeup that could be the best such pitch in the majors as soon as he signs an MLB contract. He also has a fastball that has touched 100 MPH and a couple other pitches. He was outstanding in NPB and is expected to be at least solid in the big leagues.

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman on the radio in Chicago on Tuesday, it might not be the Dodgers but a different NL West team in the lead for Senga’s services.

“Senga is very close to Yu Darvish. I mean he’s basically his mentor. And that is the same agency, the Wasserman agency. So, I mean my tea leaf, my betting would be San Diego. And I haven’t seen him connected to San Diego yet, but I would say that that’s the most likely.”

Most of the time, the nonsense about where his friends are and who his agent is is just that, nonsense. There might be more to it with a player coming over from a different country, but Senga presumably wouldn’t have made the decision to jump to MLB if he was nervous about being on a team with strangers.

In the end, like with most free agents, the determining factor will most likely be which team offers Senga the best contract, regardless of whether his buddies play for that team.

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  1. Senga could be a very viable solution as a no. 3 starter. Solid credentials with good swing and miss stuff, especially his nasty splitter or “ghost “ forkball. He’s still in his prime without an exorbitant price, unlike the unpredictable and overpriced DeGrom and Verlander. There’s no owing his former team anything, as he comes as a true FA. The Dodgers should use Will Ireton ( Kenta’s former interpreter and now helping with player development with the Dodgers) as a recruiter and liaison to help Senga get acclimated. Yea Darvish is a mentor for him, but he’s a FA after 2023. Senga would generate the excitement back to a large Japanese population in LA, like the days of Nomo, Kuroda, Saito, and Maeda. Ohtani has done it in Anaheim. The Dodgers cannot miss another one to the Padres

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