Kenta Maeda and the Dodgers have agreed to an eight-year deal, that will bring the righty to California from Hiroshima. The club has not posted a price tag on Maeda, but they still have to pay the $20 million that is owed for the posting fee. Before he made the deal, he reportedly paid the team to visit the stadium and now his new home, Dodger Stadium.
Maeda, who turns 28 in April, posted a 2.09 ERA, with a record of 15-8 in 206.1 IP for Hiroshima in 2015. His lowest ERA total came in 2012, when he posted an ERA of 1.53. Maeda will be compared more to Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka,l than any other Japanese born pitcher because of his pitch location skills with his secondary pitches. He doesn’t throw his fastball more than 92-94 MPH, but he can locate his secondary pitches as well as anyone in the game now.
He now joins a rotation that is very left-handed heavy. If everything goes as planned with lefty Hyun-Jin-Ryu and him being ready opening day, the rotation could look something like this.
Clayton Kershaw (Lefty), Hyun-Jin-Ryu (Lefty), Kenta Maeda (Righty), Scott Kazmir (Lefty), Alex Wood (Lefty).
This Dodgers have the type of rotation to take them to the postseason again if Maeda, can live up to expectations and everyone can stay healthy. But if someone gets injured or doesn’t live up to expectations, look at the team to rely on Brandon McCarthy when he returns which should be after the all-star break, or Mike Bolsinger. This proves that the Dodgers have enough depth in its rotation, to keep up with everyone in the division. Look for Maeda to get off to a slow start but adjust well into the Majors, as he goes along.