Nevermind that Cooperstown press conference, today is your day Kenta!
This afternoon the Dodgers officially announced the signing of veteran Japanese ace Kenta Maeda (pronounced MAH-eh-da) to an eight year contract. It is thought to be at $24 million over that time, and is laden with a bunch of incentives. Per a Dodgers press release:
“We are excited to be bringing Kenta Maeda into the Dodger organization,” said Dodger President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. “We have had the chance to scout him extensively in Japan and on the international stage and believe he has all the tools to be a successful Major League starting pitcher. We were honored to hear of his strong desire to be a Dodger and that only added to our motivation to bring him on board. We look forward to Kenta adding another chapter to the Dodgers’ global legacy and to him strengthening our ballclub in the years ahead.”Maeda is a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award (the NPB equivalent of the Cy Young); including winning it last season with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Last year he led the Japanese Central League by going 15-8 with a 2.09 ERA in 29 starts. Maeda struck out 175, walked 41, gave up only five home runs, posted a 1.01 WHIP, batters hit .222 average and right-0handers hit just .160.
Via Cash Kruth at MLB.com:
"I am very honored to be a Dodger," Maeda said in English after putting on his uniform and cap.In truth, this entire post is just an excuse to share more fantasy Baseball cards I made this afternoon of Maeda. Check them out above and below. I used photos tweeted out by the Dodgers and originally taken by Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo (here, here, here and here).
"During my physical there were some irregularities that surfaced that was factored into the contract that I signed," Maeda said. "Despite the fact that there were some irregularities found in the physical, the Dodgers made the decision to make a long-term commitment to me and that was meaningful to me, so I decided to make a long-term commitment to the organization."
Kenta Maeda does pregame that he can't do here in MLB. We call it "Maeken dance" #dodgers pic.twitter.com/tIsZWsnb4F— Joseph Kim (@blackwings2011) January 7, 2016
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