The Blue Jays and Rangers are among the teams interested in Tomoyuki Sugano, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN. They join the previously-reported Padres and Red Sox as known suitors for the 31-year-old. Sugano has spent the past eight seasons with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, where he’s generally been brilliant. He sports a career ERA of 2.32 at Japan’s highest level. Sugano was excellent as ever in 2020, tossing 137.1 innings of 1.97 ball, backed up by a strong combination of 8.6 K/9 against 1.6 BB/9. The NPB team formally posted Sugano last week, giving major league teams until January 7 to work out an agreement with the right-hander.
Some more notes on the open market:
- Right-hander Julio Teheran is planning a showcase for interested teams in mid-January, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). The 29-year-old is coming off a dismal season with the Angels where he allowed 35 runs (including 12 homers) with a 20:16 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 31.1 innings. Heyman notes that shoulder discomfort may have played a role in those struggles, but Teheran’s peripherals and velocity had been trending in the wrong direction for a few seasons even before the wheels fell off completely in 2020.
- The free agent market for Marcus Semien is progressing and could reach a resolution in the coming days, Passan further reports. The 30-year-old is one of the market’s more interesting evaluations. After a stellar 2019 effort that earned him a third place finish in AL MVP voting, Semien had something of a disappointing follow-up this past season. His .223/.305/.374 line matched the worst offensive output of his career. That comes with obvious shortened season caveats, though, as well as a career-low .260 BABIP that looks primed for a bit of positive regression. The Reds and Phillies are the most obvious shortstop-needy contenders, but plenty of teams could move other players (or even Semien himself) around the infield to accommodate his addition to the roster.