Kodai Senga, a Japanese ace, signed a five-year contract with the Mets, continuing their spending spree.

According to SNY, the New York Mets and free agent right-hander Kodai Senga, formerly of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, have reached an agreement. According to The Athletic, the $75 million contract has a third-year opt out clause and is for five years. The agreement is subject to a physical.

Senga, 29, pitched for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks for 11 seasons. In more than 1,340 innings pitched, he recorded a 2.42 ERA and a 2.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio. A few weeks ago, he went to see the New York Mets. Senga was regarded as the 23rd best free agent as the offseason began. Here is what we stated back then:

After spending the first 11 seasons of his career with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, Senga, 29, is anticipated to chase a big-league contract this winter. He is a skilled right-hander who pitched 148 innings this year with a 1.89 ERA and a 3.18 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His vivacious mid-90s fastball and his lethal “ghost” forkball are Senga’s greatest pitches. a genuine out pitch, whether in the majors or elsewhere. He can use that combination to stair-step up the heat before burying the fork. (Perhaps his moniker ought to be The Bear if he ends up in Chicago?) Additionally, he has a good curveball.

Senga was not subject to the “posting” system agreement between Major League Baseball and NPB, according to a detailed examination of him in November. Senga, on the other hand, was a true free agent, which allowed him to bargain with teams according to his own conditions. Evidently, Senga discovered a fit that he liked.

The Mets have been very busy this offseason despite losing Jacob deGrom, and owner Steve Cohen has approved a payroll that has risen past $300 million. Senga is the eighth player the Mets have signed this offseason, behind Edwin Dáz (five years, $102 million), Justin Verlander (two years, $86.6 million), José Quintana (two years, $26 million), Brandon Nimmo (eight years, $162 million), and David Robertson (one year, $10 million). They also acquired Brooks Raley, a lefty pitcher.

The competitive balance tax payroll in New York for 2023 is estimated by FanGraphs to be $349.6 million with Senga. The “Cohen Tax,” the highest penalty tier, has a $293 million threshold and a $233 million cap. The Mets are subject to a 90 percent tax on any amount beyond $293 million as a repeat offender. Cohen will pay $28.5 million in real money in tax in 2023 for Senga’s $15 million average annual compensation.

The Atlanta Braves won the season series and the tiebreaker, finished first in the NL East, and had the same record as the Mets in 2022 (101-61). On June 1, New York held a 10 1/2-game lead—the third-largest division lead ever lost in baseball—but the San Diego Padres defeated them in the Wild Card Series in three games.