Twins’ Maeda has season-ending Tommy John surgery

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MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Twins right-hander Kenta Maeda had season-ending Tommy John surgery Wednesday in Dallas, the team said.

The 33-year-old right-hander from Japan was placed on the 10-day injured list Aug. 24 with right forearm tightness. Texas Rangers orthopedic surgeon Keith Meister performed the surgery.

Meister added an internal brace to the arm, a recent development in the Tommy John technique that could help speed the rate of recovery, which is traditionally at least a year. The Twins hope Maeda could return in 9-12 months.

“There are never any guarantees, but we are pretty good on the medical side with rehabbing this kind of injury and getting guys back to full health,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Maeda was the runner-up in the AL Cy Young Award voting last season, when he went 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 11 starts. In 21 starts this season, Maeda was 6-5 with a 4.66 ERA.

Baldelli noted that the surgery addressed other issues in Maeda’s arm that had been bothering the pitcher throughout his six-year MLB career, which began with a four-year stint with the Dodgers.

“Hopefully, when he’s ready, we might see a version better than anything we’ve seen before, because they were able to go in there and clean some things up that he’s been pitching with,” Baldelli said. “This wasn’t just a simple acute injury that he was dealing with. He’s been pitching with some of this stuff for a while now. This gives him an opportunity to be at full strength going forward.”

Guardians trade OF Will Benson to Reds for OF Justin Boyd

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians traded outfielder Will Benson to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for outfielder Justin Boyd.

The defending AL Central champions also will get a player to be named from the Reds in the swap.

Cincinnati drafted Boyd in the second round last year out of Oregon State. He led the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average and 24 steals in 2022. The 21-year-old batted .203 in 73 at-bats for Class-A Daytona.

The 6-foot-5 Benson spent 28 games with the Guardians last season, batting .182 with three RBIs in 28 games. The 24-year-old struggled at the plate, striking out 19 times in just 55 at-bats.

Benson was once considered one of Cleveland’s top outfield prospects, but has since been surpassed by Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Will Brennan.