The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement with Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. After losing Zack Greinke via free agency, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be making a move to bolster their pitching staff, so the news of acquiring the Japanese starting pitcher is somehow expected.
Maeda is still under contract with the Hiroshima Carp of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball, so the MLB team owe them a posting fee, which is likely the $20 million maximum.
ESPN noted that under the posting system, MLB organizations could earn the right to negotiate with Maeda for 30 days by agreeing to pay Hiroshima a certain fee, with the maximum being the aforementioned amount. That fee will be in addition to whatever salary Los Angeles will be paying the player.
The 27-year-old Maeda was 97-67 with an ERA of 2.39 in eight seasons in Japan's top league. His best year was in 2012, but he still delivered a good performance last season, going 15-8 with a 2.09 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 175 strikeouts in 206 1/3 innings. He is also a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award, which is given to the best pitcher in Japan. Maeda was posted by the Hiroshima Carp on December 4.
After missing out on the more elite options in the market, it was already presumed that the Dodgers would be major players for the Japanese pitcher. Maeda is rated as the 21st best free-agent available, according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan. He ranked immediately behind Kazmir and ahead of Brett Anderson.
Shortly before the team inked a deal with Maeda, the Dodgers have also agreed to sign veteran left-hander Scott Kazmir to a three-year deal. Kazmir's acquisition, which was announced on Wednesday, will give the Dodgers an all-left-handed rotation which already includes Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, and Alex Wood.
The deal is reportedly worth $48 million and incorporates an opt-out clause after the first season. Kazmir was previously acquired by the Houston Astros from Oakland only last July, where he went 2-6 with a 4.17 ERA in 13 starts. The left-handed pitcher will be entering his 12th pro season after spending time with the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics and the Astros.
The veteran pitcher hailed the agreement in a recent post on his Twitter account saying, "'What a great day to officially be a Dodger!" He also wished a happy birthday to Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who had just celebrated his 80th birthday on December 30. Kazmir called Koufax "my lefty idol."