SoftBank Hawks ace Kodai Senga, one of the best pitchers in Japanese baseball, filed for international free agency Monday in a bid to move to the major leagues.
If realized, the 29-year-old right-handed power pitcher, known for his nasty splitter, will become the first player from Japan to play in the majors after starting his pro career on a non-roster developmental contract.
Senga submitted documents to the Hawks the same day and plans to hold a press conference at a later date. Multiple major league clubs have sent scouts to Japan to watch him pitch.
Senga had an 11-6 win-loss record with a 1.94 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 22 starts this past season. He is 87-44 with a 2.59 ERA in 224 games over 11 seasons, all with the Hawks.
Senga finished the first season of his five-year contract with a player opt-out that allows him to pursue his dream of pitching in the majors.