Kenta Maeda (35, Minnesota Twins) will become a free agent at the end of this season. The end of the slave contract is finally in sight. How much is his value in the free agent market?먹튀검증
MLB Trade Rumors (MLBTR), which mainly covers news related to major league transfers, published a preview article on the 23rd (Korean time) of players appearing on the free agent market after the end of this season.
They were classified by grade, and Maeda was classified as a wild card. Ryu Hyun-jin also belonged to the same level.
The media said, “Maeda’s first season back from surgery has been good at first glance. His ERA of 4.28 in 101 innings looks solid. In 16 starts since returning from a triceps injury, he has posted an ERA of 3.39, a 6.7% walk rate, and a 28.7% walk rate. He is recording a strikeout rate of . It is not completely clear to what extent the injury affected him this year, but after his return, he seems to be showing a similar performance to 2020, when he took second place in the Cy Young Award.”
At the same time, the size of Maeda’s contract was also predicted. The media predicted that “Maeda will try to sign a multi-year contract for the value of his health, but he may be limited to a two-year contract due to his age.”
Maeda signed a strange contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. It was literally a slave contract with more incentives than the basic salary. Normally, the base salary is high, but Maeda signed a contract that was just the opposite. Although he signed a long-term contract of eight years, his base annual salary was only $25 million (about 33.2 billion won).
However, the Dodgers used Maeda as a bullpen pitcher rather than a starting pitcher. Maeda, who wanted to play as a starting pitcher, requested a trade and eventually moved to Minnesota ahead of the 2020 season.
He took his place as a starting pitcher in his new team. In 2020, which was a shortened season due to COVID-19, he recorded 11 games, 66⅔ innings, 6 wins, 1 loss, and an ERA of 2.70, ranking second in the American League Cy Young Award voting. At the time, WHIP (on-base percentage allowed per inning) was only 0.75.
But the joy was short-lived. Injury came. He suffered torn ligaments in his elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2021. He returned at the start of the 2023 season after about a year and a half of rehabilitation. He performed poorly in April with 4 games, 16 innings, 4 losses, and an ERA of 9.00. To make matters worse, he suffered a triceps injury after the game against the New York Yankees on April 27 and was withdrawn again. This time, he was away for two months and returned against the Detroit Tigers on June 24th.
He pitched well after returning from injury. In his return game, he got his first win of the season, and was good in June with 2 games, 1 win, 1 loss, and 10 innings with an ERA of 1.80. In July, 5 games, 27⅔ innings, 1 win, 1 loss, and an average ERA of 2.93, but in August, 5 games, 25 innings, 1 win, 1 loss, and an average ERA of 5.04.
In September, he came back to life. He played 22⅓ innings in 4 games until the 23rd, and swept 3 wins. His earned run average is 2.82, which is good. In his major league career, he has 189 games (155 starts), 863 innings, 65 wins, 48 losses, and a 3.92 earned run average.
Meanwhile, the top-tier unicorn was Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels). Afterwards, the first selection players were listed. Lucas Giolito (Cleveland Guardians), Sonny Gray (Minnesota Twins), and Blake Snell (San Diego Padres) were classified as first-choice players.
Conversely, there were also pitchers who were question marks. Julio Urias (LA Dodgers), who was arrested for domestic violence, was on this list. Also, I was able to see the names of players playing in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) who will be competing in the major leagues through the posting system after the end of the season. There were Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Oryx Buffaloes) and Shota Imanaga (Yokohama DeNA Baystars).