Giants emerge as potential suitor for Japanese ace Senga

This story was excerpted from Maria Guardado’s Giants Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

The Giants prefer to play it close to the vest when it comes to their free-agent pursuits, but they may have given an unintentional hint about one of their pitching targets earlier this month.

Eagle-eyed reporter Marc Delucchi, the managing editor at Giants Baseball Insider, happened to be driving through San Francisco on Nov. 12 when he spotted a graphic of Japanese right-hander Kodai Senga and his No. 41 flashing on the Oracle Park scoreboard.

Were the Giants hosting the Nippon Professional Baseball star or merely practicing for a future visit?

“We’re going to have to start tenting our ballpark whenever we put anything up on the big screen,” president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi joked recently. “I think that’s the only official comment you’re going to get from me on that. Good sleuthing by Marc. We’ll have to tread a little more carefully with that if we don’t find a tent big enough to cover the ballpark.”

Senga, who will turn 30 in January, filed for international free agency on Oct. 31 and is expected to seek a Major League contract this offseason after logging a 2.59 ERA over 11 seasons for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Wielding a 101-mph fastball and a nasty splitter, Senga has struck out 1,252 batters over 1,089…

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