The hot stove may be finally warming up as the SF Giants are one of five teams connected to top Japanese pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the SF Giants are “in pursuit” of right-handed hurler Tomoyuki Sugani of the Japenese Central League. Per his report, the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, and San Diego Padres are the other four teams involved.
Sugano has appeared in eight seasons in the JPCL with the Yomiuri Giants. Since he debuted in 2013, the 31-year-old has registered a 101-50 overall record, 2.34 ERA, 8.0 K/9, and a 4.59 SO/W ratio. Sugano flashes a low-90’s fastball with a devastating slider and pinpoint command. Given their obvious need for starting pitching, Sugano always looked like the type of arm that could shakeup the Giants offseason.
The 2020 season was a dominant year for Sugano as he posted a 14-2 record, 1.97 ERA, 0.888 WHIP, and 5.24 SO/W ratio while bringing home the Sawamura Award, which is the equivalent of the Cy Young Award.
The Yomiuri Giants posted the right-handed hurler on December 7, so teams have until January 7 to work out a deal with Sugano. If a deal cannot be worked out within that one-month window, then Sugano would have to return to the JPCL for the 2021 season.
The Giants interest in Sugano is not surprising as they still have work to do on the rotation. San Francisco has Kevin Gausman returning after accepting a qualifying offer and reeled in Anthony DeSclafani on a one-year, $6 million pact. On top of this, Johnny Cueto and Logan Webb will return to the rotation along with Tyler Beede, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
With that being said, the SF Giants still need depth, and adding Sugano would go a long way in achieving that end. The Japanese hurler would likely command a multi-year deal, which has become an uncommon move for the Giants in recent years.
Over the last two seasons, they have handed out just one multi-year deal, which was a two-year, $6.5 million deal to infielder Wilmer Flores. Despite this, Tomoyuki Sugano fills an obvious need for the SF Giants at a rate that should not impact their long-term flexibility.