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.”

Braves shutting down Mike Soroka for 4-5 days due to shoulder problems

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Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Braves starter Mike Soroka will be shut down for the next 4-5 days due to renewed soreness in his right shoulder.

Soroka is not presently listed in the top five of the Braves depth chart at starter, but is nonetheless an enormously talented pitcher who, at some point this season, was likely to figure into their plans. He was supposed to figure in more largely than he did last season, but after an impressive debut he missed the entire second half with shoulder problems, making only five starts.

There will no doubt be a reevaluation of him in the next few days, but this is could bad news for the Braves’ pitching depth.