LOS ANGELES – Hiroshima Carp ace Kenta Maeda arrived in Los Angeles on Monday as he attempts to move to the major leagues through the posting system.
The 27-year-old right-hander, who was posted by the Carp on Dec. 10 after winning his second Sawamura Award as Japan’s most impressive starting pitcher, will likely meet with agent Adam Katz. Maeda will have until 5 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 8 to sign a contract with a club that is willing to pay a posting fee likely set by the Carp at the $20 million maximum.
Because of his slight build and a fastball that sits at 146 kph, Maeda is not considered a top starter in the same class as the New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka, the Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish or free agent right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, who has reportedly signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants, two teams expected to be bidders for the 182-cm, 81-kg Maeda, have each acquired a pair of front-of-the rotation starters this month and are unlikely to go after the new Japanese import.
If Maeda fails to land a deal, he will return to the Carp for the 2016 season.
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