Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Tigers sign RHP Kenta Maeda to two-year contract

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers have signed righthanded pitcher Kenta Maeda to a two-year contract worth $24 million. Maeda will make $14 million in 2024 and $10 million in 2025. He will also make an annual donation to the Tigers Foundation, donating $70,000 in 2024 and $50,000 in 2025.

Maeda, 35, pitched in 21 games, including 20 starts, with the Minnesota Twins in 2023, posting a 6-8 record with a 4.23 ERA (104.1IP/49ER) and 117 strikeouts. After missing time due to injury, he excelled once he returned to full strength last season. Over his final 16 starts in 2023, Maeda went 6-3 with a 3.39 ERA (85.0IP/32ER), allowing no more than two runs in 11 of those outings. His efforts helped Minnesota to win the American League Central Division, making two relief appearances during the American League Divisional Series against Houston.

Maeda’s best big league season came in 2020, when he started 11 games and went 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA (66.2IP/20ER) and 80 strikeouts. He finished second in voting for the AL Cy Young Award that year and was named Second Team All-MLB. Maeda finished the season leading the AL in WHIP (0.75), while he ranked second in strikeout/walks (8.00), fourth in wins (6), fifth in ERA (2.70) and seventh in strikeouts (80). Additionally, Maeda finished third in voting for National League Rookie of the Year in 2016 with the Dodgers, posting a 16-11 record with a 3.48 ERA (175.2IP/68ER) and 179 strikeouts.

A native of Osaka, Japan, Maeda has made 190 appearances, including 155 starts, in his Major League career, compiling a 65-49 record with a 3.92 ERA (866.1IP/377ER) and 951 strikeouts. He has also pitched in 27 postseason games in his career, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.24 ERA (41.2IP/15ER) and 48 strikeouts. He helped the Los Angeles Dodgers to the World Series in both 2017 and 2018.

Maeda and his wife, Saho, reside in Tokyo, Japan with their two children.

With the signing of Maeda, the Tigers 40-man roster is now at 38.

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