3) NY Mets grade for signing Kodai Senga: B
A big unknown for the Mets is how Kodai Senga will perform with the team in 2023 and beyond. His deal, with an AAV of $15 million, puts him slightly above Quintana and those players mentioned previously. It’s always a risk to sign an international player. Some end up as Shohei Ohtani. Others are Kaz Matsui.
It was a necessary move for the Mets to make and definitely one to take a risk on. Compared to the $21 million AAV Chris Bassitt got from the Toronto Blue Jays and $18 million Taijuan Walker received from the Philadelphia Phillies, the Senga deal feels lighter.
Senga’s deal does include potential opt outs in each of the final two years as long as he reaches 400 innings from 2023-2025. As with any contract, there is more fine print along the way, too. The most important thing to look at is whether or not he is the guy for the Mets.
At age 30, Senga is expected to be in the prime of his career. The transition from pitching in Japan to North America may have some bumpy roads. Plenty of pitchers have come over with great success at an older age. We can’t use how other people have performed to know for sure what Senga will do. He’s his own man.
Nevertheless, this felt like a good move. It’s higher priced than and longer than some of the other free agent signings out there. The ceiling is great for Senga. The Mets didn’t sign him to a deal where they hope he gives them his best effort in the first or second year. This was a move for extended success.