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.”

There have been three walkoff grand slams in the past week

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Last night Jason Kipnis led the Indians to victory over the Chicago White Sox via a walkoff grand slam. Such a beast is a pretty special, but lately they’ve been surprisingly common. Indeed, Kipnis’ walkoff slam was the third one in the space of a week.

Francisco Mejia of the Padres hit a walkoff salami on Sunday afternoon to lead San Diego over the Texas Rangers. Sal Perez of the Royals did the deed on Friday against the Twins.

As Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com tweeted this morning, there were only two walkoff grand slams in the entire 2016 season. Having three in a week is pretty darn cool, eh?