Now this is the kind of update I was looking for from the first night of the GM Meetings. So thank you, Gordon Wittenmyer.
The Chicago Cubs are clearly interested in Japanese ace Kodai Senga, and have already been in touch with his agent … who happens to be the agent for Seiya Suzuki, too:
Wittenmyer spoke with Senga’s agent Joel Wolfe, who confirmed that the Cubs have already been in contact with him. Wolfe also represents Suzuki, who “said very nice things about his experience in Chicago,” per Wittenmyer. “He’s really happy that he chose the Cubs.”
Pass that on to Senga, please and thanks!
In all seriousness, while I don’t think Kodai Senga would choose the Cubs because there is a fellow Japanese star on the team who shares his agent, I can’t think it hurts.
Wittenmyer adds that his colleague, Dave Kaplan, has reported that the Cubs are “very interested” in Senga, so the team reaching out to his agent very early in free agency shouldn’t be a surprise.
As we’ve discussed, Senga, 29, has been among the best starting pitchers in Japan for a long time now, and while you can’t just translate results from the NPB to MLB, his pitches do grade out well. The “ace” label may not apply in MLB, but most believe – if healthy – Senga could be a mid-rotation starter with upside from there. Moreover, adding him to the Cubs’ group of starting pitchers would not preclude them from making another addition in the rotation.
The Cubs will probably be putting together an extensive pitch to Senga, as they did for Suzuki, and I wonder if that process starts this week at the GM Meetings. Wittenmyer says there is an “anticipated meeting” between Wolfe and Hoyer this week to discuss Senga.
Like other free agents, Senga is officially able to sign with a new team starting on Thursday. I wouldn’t be surprised if his courtship process extends a little further than that, since he isn’t just choosing a new team, he’s also choosing where he’s going to move and live in a new country.