Samurai Japan starting pitcher Kenta Maeda has agreed to an eight-year, $US 25 million contract with Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers.
In addition, Maeda’s former club in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, the Hiroshima Carp, will also be paid $US 20 million, the maximum amount, by the Dodgers for the international transfer.
Maeda could potentially pocket an additional $US 10-12 million per season if he surpasses agreed upon benchmarks in innings pitched and games started, and also pick up a bonus for making the opening day roster.
At the 2015 WBSC Premier12 in November, Maeda posted a 1-0 record in two starts, registering a 1.50 ERA and 14 strikeouts against only one walk in 12 innings pitched for the Samurai. Maeda’s victory came against world No. 9 Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals, where he topped out at 152 kh/h (94.4 mph) and showcased an arsenal of pitches, including a highly polished change-up. (See highlights below)
In his eight seasons with Hiroshima, Maeda, 27, was 97-67 with a 2.39 ERA.