UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that Maeda’s deal with the Dodgers is for at least five years, but it’s “complicated” and includes a bunch of incentives.
6:24 p.m. ET: Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that while the two sides have an agreement, details are still being worked out and the deal won’t be official for a few days.
5:41 p.m. ET: One day after adding left-hander Scott Kazmir to their rotation on a three-year contract, the Dodgers have signed Japanese right-hander Kenta Meada, according to Christopher Meola on Twitter. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman has confirmed the report.
No word on the terms involved in the deal. In addition to a contract, the Dodgers will presumably pay the maximum $20 million posting fee to Maeda’s team in Japan, the Hiroshima Carp. Maeda was put through the posting process earlier this month and MLB teams faced a January 8th deadline to sign him to a contract. It comes as no surprise that he ended up with the Dodgers, as he reportedly paid a visit to Dodger Stadium a week ago.
Maeda turns 28 in April and posted a 2.39 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 over his eight seasons in Japan. He had a 2.09 ERA and 175/41 K/BB ratio in 206 1/3 innings this past season. While Maeda might not have the upside of other high-profile pitchers who have recently come over from Japan like Yu Darvish or Masahiro Tanaka, he should help a rotation which features multiple wild cards. He’ll also be the lone right-hander in a group which includes Clayton Kershaw, Kazmir, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Brandon McCarthy, another right-hander, is working his way back from Tommy John surgery and will likely be sidelined until around midseason.