The San Diego Padres and Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga met in San Diego on Thursday to reportedly discuss a contract. San Diego are one of the many teams to be linked to Senga. Kodai Senga most recently pitched with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in the Nippon Professional Baseball League.
Signing the Japanese righty would make a lot of sense for the San Diego Padres. The team is looking to add some depth to its rotation. Senga would be a great addition as the righty throws an upper 90s fastball with an extremely effective splitter.
Kodai Senga being close with Yu Darvish and being a former teammate of Nick Martinez and Robert Suarez should give the Padres an advantage in negotiations.
San Diego Padres fans were ecstatic to hear that the team met with Senga on Thursday. They believe that he would fit nicely into their rotation alongside Darvish.
"I'm begging," one fan pleaded.
"We got to be the one for him," said another.
Fans want the team's general manager, A.J. Preller, to get the deal done as soon as possible. They think the off-season would be a huge success if that were to happen. Some fans even want signing Senga to be the team's top priority in the off-season.
Kodai Senga would be a great fit for the San Diego Padres
Kodai Senga has already provided nine years of service in Japan, qualifying him for free agency. International players playing in Japan or Korea must complete nine seasons to be eligible to pursue contracts with other leagues.
Senga has been regarded as one of Japan's best pitchers for some time now. He struck out 144 batters in 156 innings pitched last season. He struck out 27.5% of the batters that he faced.
He throws a fastball that sits in the upper 90s, while touching 100 mph at times. He throws an effective splitter that he calls the "ghost fork." He also possesses a slurve that falls right off the table.
He's a great pitcher, but he doesn't come without some concerns. He's only topped 150 innings pitched twice in his career. He's missed some games this year due to elbow soreness. He also missed a couple of months in 2021 after tweaking his ankle.
The San Diego Padres will have to keep his injury history in mind if they offer him a contract for the 2023 season.