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Report: Kenta Maeda was at Dodger Stadium on Thursday

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Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, citing a Japanese media source, reports that Kenta Maeda was at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, Christmas Eve. As he notes, the deadline for Maeda to sign is January 8.

The Dodgers have yet to bolster a starting rotation that lost Zack Greinke. They appeared to sign Hisashi Iwakuma, but backed out of a deal after seeing the results of his physical. Iwakuma then signed back with the Mariners. Maeda, no doubt, would be a useful addition. The Dodgers would have to pay the Hiroshima Carp — Maeda’s team — $20 million for the right to negotiate, and then they would have to come to terms on a contract. If Maeda and the Dodgers aren’t able to reach an agreement, the Dodgers would get their $20 million back.

Maeda, 27, has spent all eight seasons with Hiroshima in the Japan Central League. He has a career 2.39 ERA with 1,233 strikeouts and 319 walks in 1,509 2/3 innings. Though the numbers are impressive, the competition in Japan isn’t nearly as good as it is in the majors. Per the Davenport Translations, Maeda’s 2.09 ERA and 175/41 K/BB ratio over 206 1/3 innings last season comes out to 4.09 and 110/51 in the majors.

Along with Maeda, the Dodgers have expressed interest in free agent lefties Scott Kazmir and Wei-Yin Chen.

Cardinals sign Matt Wieters to one-year, $2 million deal

Matt Wieters
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Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals and free agent catcher Matt Wieters have agreed on a one-year, $2 million deal. Wieters can earn an additional $1 million through incentives.

Wieters, 33, spent last season with the Cardinals as Yadier Molina‘s backup. In 67 games, the veteran hit .214/.268/.435 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI. While Wieters has left something to be desired offensively in recent years, he still plays solid defense behind the plate.

Wieters will once again serve as the backup to Molina. Catching prospect Andrew Knizner is expected to start the season at Triple-A Memphis.