Chicago Cubs Rumors: Kodai Senga is in no hurry to commit to a team

United States v Japan - Baseball Gold Medal Game - Olympics: Day 15
United States v Japan - Baseball Gold Medal Game - Olympics: Day 15 / Koji Watanabe/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs fired their first shot of the offseason, landing Cody Bellinger on a one-year deal Tuesday evening. They still have plenty to add though and rumors have been swirling surrounding their top pitching target Kodai Senga. Despite the widespread interest and aggressiveness of teams around the league, however, he may not be that close to a deal.

Earlier Tuesday, Senga's agent told reporters, per Rockies beat writer Patrick Lyons, that the starter was in no rush to pick a team and that he wanted to remain in control of the process as they weighed multiple offers. Mark Feinsand reiterated that Senga's decision could be a ways off.

If you were hoping the Cubs would ink a deal with Senga as part of their Winter Meetings spending, this seems to throw cold water on that notion. Things can move quickly in the heat of the hot stove, but this tracks with the previous reporting that Senga had multiple five to six-year deals on the table. Considering the potential suitors jockeying for his services like the Mets, as Feinsand mentions, Cubs, Giants, Padres, Red Sox, and more, he'll have a lot to unpack when it comes to finding an extended home through his first stint in free agency.

This may also be in an effort to drive up the price for respective teams. With the mid-rotation market starting to move and Carlos Rodon still out there, the price could still go up on the Japanese fireballer as the offseason goes on. As Feinsand points out, Senga's a traditional free agent unlike other overseas talents including the recently-posted Masataka Yoshida, meaning he can mull over his decision as long as he wants. Wolfe and Senga are undoubtedly aware of the big spenders in pursuit of him and the desperation that'll set in as other solid options go off the table.

Cubs need to be cautious as Senga weighs a mountain of offers

Obviously, this shouldn't change the Cubs' pursuits. Senga is one of the most promising talents still available in free agency that, hopefully, won't cost an arm and a leg like Rodon. He has risk, for sure, but the numbers in Japan and the stuff are legit. Barring a trade, he's likely the team's best shot at a front of the rotation-type arm if he hits on that upside. Even at six years, you can make an argument that it's worth it considering the lack of other high-end options on the market. Although they haven't been as connected as earlier in the offseason, the recent word from the rumor mill still has them involved in his market.

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The Cubs do need to be aware of the risks of missing out on other promising arms as they try to woo Senga. That doesn't seem like it'll be an issue considering they signed Jameson Taillon before his value got too inflated, but they need to keep options open as they pursue a higher upside arm. Maybe this ultimately pushes them toward a trade for someone like Tyler Glasnow to avoid the long-term, ever-increasing commitment Senga is looking for. Whatever the case, expect a wait before we find out whether or not the Cubs take home the Japanese stud.