Mets have 'as good a chance as anyone' to sign Japanese ace Tomoyuki Sugano: report

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Danny Abriano
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The Mets have interest in signing Japanese ace Tomoyuki Sugano, with one non-Mets executive saying they have "as good a chance as anyone" to land him, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Sugano, 31, was posted by the Yomiuri Giants of the NPB on Dec. 7.

Interested teams have until Jan. 7 to sign Sugano, who is free to negotiate with any team.

Sugano has been elite in Japan, with a career ERA of 2.34 and a 1.03 WHP in eight seasons.

Most scouts believe Sugano -- who features a low-90s fastball, plus slider, and elite command -- profiles as a mid-rotation starter in the majors, with the ceiling of a No. 2 starter.

Except for 2019, when he dealt with a back injury, Sugano has been terrific over the last half decade, never posting an ERA above 2.14.

His WHIP in 2020 was 0.88 (the second-lowest of his career), and his home run rate last season of 0.5 per 9 innings tied the best mark of his career.

There is no longer a posting fee owed to Japanese teams after signing their free agents, but the team that signs Sugano will owe Yomiuri a "release fee." While the fee is an extra expense on top of the contract, it is not a prohibitive one.