Tigers sign starting pitcher Kenta Maeda

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins

The Detroit Tigers signed starting pitcher Kenta Maeda of Senboku-gun, Japan to a two-year deal worth $24 million on Sunday according to the Associated Press on Sunday. Maeda is expected to replace Eduardo Rodriguez of Valencia, Venezuela in the rotation. Rodriguez has decided to opt out of his three-year contract with the Tigers and be a free agent.

The Tigers will be Maeda’s third Major League team. He previously played four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2016 to 2019, and three seasons with the Minnesota Twins from 2020 to 2023. Maeda did not play during the 2022 Major League Baseball season due to Tommy John surgery he had in 2021.

Maeda’s 2023 MLB season

This past season with the Twins, Maeda had a record of six wins and eight losses with an earned run average of 4.23. During 104 1/3 innings pitched and 21 games, he gave up 94 hits, 49 earned runs, 17 home runs, and 28 walks, to go along with 117 strikeouts and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.17.

Considered for Major Awards

Twice in Maeda’s career he has been considered for major awards in Major League Baseball. In his rookie season of 2016, he finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting. Maeda had a record of 16 wins and 11 losses with 179 strikeouts and an earned run average of 3.48 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 16 wins and 179 strikeouts were career highs. Maeda finished behind teammate Corey Seager of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Trea Turner of Boynton Beach, Florida. Seager and Turner, who played his rookie season with the Washington Nationals, are both shortstops. Then in 2020, Maeda was second in the American League Cy Young Award voting while with the Twins. That year he had a record of six wins and one loss for an earned run average of 2.70, and had a WHIP of 0.75, which led Major League Baseball. Maeda was only behind Cleveland’s Shane Bieber of Orange, California.

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