Japanese RHP Kenta Maeda will be on the Dbacks radar if he is posted by the Hiroshima Carp. Photo Courtesy of Kyle Terada of USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Diamondbacks are looking to rebuild their rotation this season, and there are plenty of bargain options that are out there. Well, now you can add Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda to the list.
If the Hiroshima Carp make him available through the posting season, he will attract a lot of interest on the open market, and the Snakes will be involved according to Dbacks G.M. Dave Stewart.
This is what Stewart told reporters at the General Manager’s Meetings in Phoenix:
"“I love Maeda,” Stewart said. “I love him. We have a lot of video and film and we have people who have seen him. We think that he’s got a chance to be very successful in Major League Baseball. We’re going to try to be in on the market when he does post, if he does post.”"
The thing to remember regarding signing Maeda is that the MLB posting rules have changed. Its no longer a blind auction. Instead, teams just have to willing to pay the posting fee which is 25 million up from last winter’s $20 million.
This is what Ben Balder of Baseball America had to stay about Maeda last winter:
"“Maeda is a slightly-built 6 feet, 160 pounds and throws around 87-93 mph with good sink and run, though he doesn’t get great angle on his fastball. He’s a good athlete, which helps him repeat his delivery and thrive when his command, which can be plus at times, is on point. Maeda doesn’t have one knockout secondary pitch, but he has a solid-average slider and mixes in a curveball and a changeup as well.”"
In 2014 pitching for the Carp in the Japan Central League, he went 11-9 with a 2.60 era in 28 starts over 187.0 innings pitched. He struck out 161 while walking 41. His best season came in 2012 when he went 14-7 with a 1.53 era in 29 starts over 206.1 innings pitched.
If Maeda is posted, expect the Dbacks to be aggressive, and be one of the key teams involved for his services. Keep this in mind, the Dbacks were willing to pay big money to Masahiro Tanaka last winter, before he signed with the Yankees.