Happy New Year’s Eve to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just hours before the new year rings in, the Dodgers have added to their rotation by agreeing to an eight-year deal with Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda, as reported by Christopher Meola.
The Dodgers entered the offseason with pitching as their primary focus. Once they lost Zack Greinke to the National League West rival Arizona Diamondbacks, pitching went from being a primary target to a must-have. The Dodgers had been linked to several free agent pitchers over the past few weeks, but there was no action until yesterday when they added veteran left-hander Scott Kazmir to their rotation. The Dodgers have continued to solidify their pitching depth today by inking Maeda.
The right-handed Maeda has enjoyed tremendous success pitching for the Hiroshima Carp over the course of eight seasons, with a career 2.39 ERA in 1509.2 innings of work with a 7.4 SO/9 ratio. His latest season saw him post a 15-8 record with a 2.09 ERA in 206.1 innings pitched with a 7.6 SO/9 ratio.
Maeda reportedly has excellent control, averaging a mere 1.9 BB/9 ratio throughout his time with Hiroshima. The Dodgers are hoping to see him take the place of Greinke as the number-two pitching option behind Clayton Kershaw.
While the dollar amount of the contract is currently unknown, we do know that the Dodgers will pay the required $20 million posting fee to the Carp.