Kenta Maeda: the next $100 million Japanese pitcher?

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe shares this note …

Kenta Maeda, RHP, Hiroshima — He has told some Japanese media that when he’s posted he prefers to play for the Yankees or Red Sox. Both are likely to bid, but the final contract isn’t expected to come anywhere near the seven-year, $155 million Masahiro Tanaka got from the Yankees. It’s hard to peg where it goes, but the expectation is more like a six-year, $120 million-$130 million deal. — but that’s speculation from a source familiar with Japanese baseball.

Maeda, 26, had a 2.56 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 154/40 K/BB ratio in 179 innings this season for the Hiroshima Carp. He throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball that sit around 88-92 mph and three offspeed pitches, including a very good low-80s slider. The righty allowed just two hits and struck out 15 batters over 10 scoreless innings during the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

“He could be a fourth starter at the big league level,” an international scouting director told Ben Badler of Baseball America in 2013. “I really like his command and he has a good slider. He doesn’t have much plane, he really has to hit his spots, but he has good stuff. It’s not overpowering stuff, but he’ll keep you in games.”

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”