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Dodgers reportedly to sign Maeda

Kyodo

The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to sign Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda, CBS Sports said on its website on Thursday.

Details of Maeda’s agreement are not yet known, the report said, adding Maeda, posted by the Hiroshima Carp on Dec. 10, was still under contract with the Japanese club, so the Dodgers owe them a posting fee of up to $20 million.

Maeda, 27, is a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award, the highest honor given to a starting pitcher in NPB. This past season, he went 15-8 to lead NPB’s Central League in wins with a 2.09 ERA for the fourth-place Carp.

Over his eight-year career, the Carp ace has a 97-67 record with a 2.39 ERA in 218 games, including 10 shutouts.

“The word from the scouting community is that Maeda profiles as a mid-level starter in Major League Baseball,” CBS Sports said.

Maeda first asked Hiroshima to post him two years ago, but the team declined. The All-Star right-hander will not be eligible for free agency until 2017.

Maeda’s signing deadline via the posting system is set for Jan. 8 at 5 p.m. Eastern time. If he fails to confirm a deal with a major league club, he will return to the Carp for the 2016 season, after which the Carp could be expected to post him again.