Baseball: Hawks ace Senga files for int'l free agency for MLB move

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.

© Kyodo News