The deadline to sign star Japanese pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano is January 7th. Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported Sunday that the Yomiuri Giants ace has has a contract to return to the Giants on the table. Although it is possible that Sugano takes that deal, reportedly a four-year contract with several opt outs, he has offers for more money from MLB teams.
Additionally, Rosenthal reports that a MLB deal is likely in the next couple of days.
Thursday is final day of Japanese RHP Tomoyuki Sugano’s posting period, and deal likely in next day or two. Not out of question he could return to Yomiuri Giants, who have made him four-year offer with three opt-outs, sources say. MLB teams, however, offering greater dollars.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 3, 2021
On Saturday, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported that Sugano has arrived in America. He lists the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, and Toronto Blue Jays are among the candidates to sign the right-handed pitcher.
Previously, Mosori has also listed the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, and Boston Red Sox as teams that previously expressed interest in Sugano. However, with the Padres recent trade activity it is possible they are no longer a candidate.
Star pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano has arrived in the U.S., source confirms Sports Hochi report. The #BlueJays, #SFGiants and #Mets are among the candidates to sign Sugano via the posting system before the Jan. 7 deadline. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 3, 2021
Although there are no guarantees of success when a pitcher comes from overseas, the team that does sign Tomoyuki Sugano can feel confident in the pitcher they are getting. He is a two-time winner of the Sawamura award, the NPB’s version of the Cy Young award.
In the abbreviated 2020 season, no MLB pitchers threw 90 innings. Sugano threw 137 1/3 for the Yomiuri Giants and pitched to a 1.97 ERA with a 14-2 record. Additionally, he is 101-50 with a 2.34 ERA in 1,362 innings pitched for his career.
The Giants, Mets, and Blue Jays all have rotations with good or great talent at the top. Adding a pitcher of Sugano’s ability will add depth to their staffs and make their pitching more formidable.
It still appears likely that Tomoyuki Sugano will come to MLB. However, the news of his offer from the Yomiuri Giants indicates that is not a guarantee that he signs. It is possible he returns to Japan for a year if he does not get an offer he likes.
Update: MLB Network Insiders Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman reported Monday morning that the Mets have been touch with Sugano, but their focus is elsewhere.
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