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.”

No lease extension, but O’s and governor tout partnership

orioles camden yards
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The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.