HIROSHIMA – The door may be open for Hiroshima Carp ace Kenta Maeda to move to the majors this winter.
Maeda, a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award as Japan’s most impressive pitcher, asked the Carp on Tuesday to allow him to move to the major leagues through the posting system.
Rather than turn Maeda down immediately, general manager Kiyoaki Suzuki indicated the pitcher’s request might be granted. The past two seasons, Maeda’s requests were rejected by Suzuki.
“If we decide on a course of action around the end of next week, I think that will work,” Suzuki said Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Maeda met Suzuki at the club’s home park, Mazda Stadium. Under the current system, the Carp can demand $20 million in exchange for Maeda’s rights.
“I want to go while I’m still young, and I want to win a championship with the Carp. While I’ve gone back and forth between those two goals, my desire to go has not lessened and in fact has become even stronger,” Maeda said.
This season, Maeda earned an estimated ¥300 million (roughly $2.44 million). He matched his career high in wins with a 15-8 record and a 2.09 ERA, earning his second Sawamura Award.
Maeda previously won the award in 2010.
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