Giants among teams interested in Japanese ace Tomoyuki Sugano

Report: Giants among teams interested in Japanese ace Sugano originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Giants remain on the market for starting pitching and have been linked to Japanese right-hander Tomoyuki Sugano. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Dalton Johnson even mentioned Sugano as a possibility for San Francisco last month.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Saturday that the Giants, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays all have been interested in Sugano, who is projected to be a mid-rotation starter. 

Sugano also recently traveled to the United States with his agent, Wasserman’s Joel Wolfe, and is expected to make a final decision next week on whether or not he wants to switch to MLB or remain in NPB.

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Last season with the Yomiuri Giants, Sugano boasted a 1.97 ERA in 137 1/3 innings. In eight seasons overall, Sugano has a 2.32 ERA with 1,214 strikeouts and a 1.03 WHIP. He also has only allowed 0.6 home runs every nine innings.

His scouting report indicates he has a fastball in the low ‘90s with a two-seamer that he tends to keep low in the zone. As far as his secondary pitches go, his best is a mid-’80s slider with a late downward break which he uses to produce weak contact. 

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So far this offseason, the Giants have brought back Kevin Gausman on a qualifying offer and signed Anthony DeSclafani to a one-year deal. They’re still trying to bolster the rotation as Johnny Cueto enters his last year under contract.

Sugano, 31, would be a perfect addition and would help the confidence after the San Diego Padres just added Blake Snell and Yu Darvish to their pitching staff.

Sugano has until Jan. 7 to make his decision, and he admitted some of the delayed decision to play in MLB had to do with concerns about the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long added to this report.