Diamondbacks keeping tabs on Kenta Maeda

AP Photo/Ben Margot

The Diamondbacks opened up a spot in their starting rotation on Saturday afternoon when they traded Jeremy Hellickson to the Phillies. GM Dave Stewart already has an idea who he would like to fill that opening. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the D-Backs are keeping an eye on international pitcher Kenta Maeda.

Maeda, 27, has spent all seven years of his professional career with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the Japan Central League. Over 1,509 2/3 innings, the right-hander has a 2.39 ERA with a 1,233/319 K/BB ratio.

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported on Monday that Hiroshima isn’t expected to make Maeda available until after the WBSC Premier 12 international tournament concludes on November 21. The Diamondbacks are one of a handful of teams expected to show interest, along with the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, and Giants.