Thursday, January 07, 2016

It's Official - Kenta Maeda is a Dodger!

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
"I am very honored to be a Dodger," Maeda said in English after putting on his uniform and cap.
"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."
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).

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 1/7/2016 - Dodgers Links - Montas, Beachy and Piazza

Here's a great photo of freshman Hall of Famer Mike Piazza with grizzled old-pro Tommy Lasorda, via Tommy's twitter.  Those were the day's, eh? 

This burgeoning young star was on the cusp of what would be an incredible career.  He would wow crowds with breathtaking home runs while becoming the most prolific hitting catcher of all time.  Unfortunately, his time in LA isn't one of fondness for him.  Instead, there's been plenty of controversy; much of which was written about yesterday by Steve Dilbeck at the LA Times: "Mike Piazza has made it hard for Dodgers fans to share his happiness."
Piazza comes off a bitter man. It’s distasteful and sad, and sours the six years he spent here establishing himself as one of baseball’s premier hitters. He is the godson of Tommy Lasorda. The Dodgers took him in the 62nd round of the draft and brought him up through their system. He was the National League Rookie of the Year here. Fans adored him.

Yet he acts like his time with the Dodgers was pure hell. That the organization and fans, even Vin Scully, all turned on him.
I too don't understand why he has consistently turned his back on Dodger fans.  It's strange... And disheartening.  I wish it weren't this way, but it is.  For whatever reason, he has decided that he wants nothing to do with us.  I guess with more time that could change, but for now I feel like that old friend you never bother to call back.  Below are more links to check out:
  • There is a 1:00 PM press conference at Dodger Stadium today.  The announcement didn't state what it would be about, but I think it's fair to say that they'll be officially announcing the Kenta Maeda signing.  The last portion of the press release was in Japanese.
  • As I'm sure you know by now, the Dodgers re-signed Brandon Beachy yesterday.  Per a Dodger press release:
Beachy, 29, has gone 14-12 with a 3.36 ERA in 48 Major League starts in five seasons with Atlanta (2010-13) and Los Angeles (2015), missing significant action due to Tommy John surgeries on June 21, 2012 and March 21, 2014. In 275.2 innings in the big leagues, Beachy has limited opposing hitters to a .223 batting average with a 1.16 WHIP and posted a 3.04 strikeout-to-walk ratio, striking out 280 and walking only 92.
Beachy spent the 2015 season in the Los Angeles organization and made two starts with the Dodgers (0-1, 7.88 ERA) after being reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on July 11 (recovery from Tommy John surgery). He finished the season in the minors, where, including his rehab assignment, he compiled a 1-1 record with a 3.51 ERA and limited opponents to a .229 batting average in 11 games (10 starts) with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City,
  • Eric Stephen at True Blue LA shares details of Beachy's contract here.  It is heavily incentive laden.
  • Listen to Scott Kazmir speak with David Vassegh on Dodger Talk from the other day, here.  (Audio Link)
  • Via Bill Plunkett at Baseball America, "Montas Waiting In The Wings For Dodgers."
The 6-foot-2 Montas is one of the hardest-throwing pitching prospects in baseball with a fastball that reaches 100 mph and a power slider. He made his major league debut with two starts for the White Sox in September and is considered major league-ready if the Dodgers want to move him to the bullpen.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *