There has always been this strange notion of Japanese players wanting to be the only one from their home country on the major league roster once they make the jump to MLB. However, recent rumors about Yoshinobu Yamamoto having the desire to play alongside another countryman have obliterated this idea. His camp has since clarified he'd be open to the idea rather than insisting upon it. It’s great news for the New York Mets who landed a top international free agent from Yamamoto’s homeland last offseason.
The decision to sign Kodai Senga last winter has already paid off. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year vote and seventh in the race for the Cy Young. It was an impressive transition, maybe more so because of how bleak the Mets themselves became.
Senga has already made a stand to recruit Yamamoto to Flushing. If this is what puts the Mets over the top, mark down the Senga free agent signing as the best one the team has ever made for a starting pitcher.
A successful recruitment of Yoshinobu Yamamoto puts the Kodai Senga signing up their as one of the best
The Mets have been more aggressive than ever when it comes to free agent starting pitcher additions. The 1990s or early didn’t have any true gems. We do have to eliminate Tom Seaver even though he was sort of an amateur free agent. His circumstance we too unique. The 2000s included semi-successful signings of Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, and a few others. As for the 2010s, it seemed to be more short-term projects around their young pitching staff.
Mets fans may have gotten used to free agent pitchers coming to Flushing with back-to-back offseasons of Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander adding their John Hancocks to contracts. Add Taijuan Walker and Jose Quintana onto the list as well. The change in ownership really has made the team more focused on paying starting pitchers than settling for what they already had; at least on a more regular basis.
Some may think one good year out of Senga and nothing out of Yamamoto thus far makes it a little too soon to start calling this the best starting pitcher free agent signing of all time. Which others would truly top it? A little premature and presumptive that Senga will remain good and Yamamoto lives up to the hype, there still isn’t any truly superior signing.
Senga may already be on the path to becoming the best free agent starting pitcher signing in club history. Add in a successful recruitment of Yamamoto and it’s without a doubt the greatest.