Chicago Cubs Rumors: Kodai Senga's agent confirms interest

Chicago Cubs
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The Chicago Cubs have a clear need for multiple starting pitchers this offseason and Japanese starting pitcher Kodai Senga may be at the top of their wish list.

Senga has elected for international free agency this winter and the expectation is that he will find a new home with a Major League Baseball team in 2023. The interesting caveat for Senga this offseason is that Major League Baseball teams will not be required to pay a posting fee to the 29-year-old's NPB team as he is no longer under contract.

The lack of a posting fee being attached to Senga's free agency status has only fueled more speculation that the Cubs will pursue the starting pitcher this offseason.

Senga's agent, Joel Wolfe, is present at the Major League Baseball's General Manager meetings this week in Las Vegas and confirmed interest from the Cubs.

"“They’ve been in contact,” agent Joel Wolfe said near the lobby of the Conrad hotel and resort ahead of an anticipated meeting with Cubs president Jed Hoyer later in the week to discuss Senga. “Seiya said very nice things about his experience in Chicago."

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Senga had a terrific season in the NPB in 2022 as he posted a 1.89 ERA in 144 innings pitched. Perhaps, most intriguing about Senga's 2022 season is his strikeout-to-walk ration as he totaled 159 strikeouts against only 50 walks.

Kodai Senga's pitching profile is near match for the Chicago Cubs' needs.

Given the transition from NPB to MLB, the expectation is that Senga will see some control issues within his first season or two but with a fastball that could reach 100 MPH and a slider that can easily convert to Major League Baseball's style of play, Senga would be an ideal target for a team that is looking to bolster their starting rotation.

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Senga also represents the type of pitcher that the Cubs are desperately lacking in their starting rotation. The Cubs have a littany of pitchers in their rotation that emphasize pitch movement as opposed to pitch velocity but lack a starting pitcher that can throw the ball past a batter. Senga has that capability and may not be a top of the rotation candidate for the Cubs but would certainly be an improvement and change of pace for the team.