Genta Maeda (35-Minnesota Twins) is eligible for free agency at the end of this season. The end of the slave contract is finally in sight. What will he be worth in free agency?
MLB Trader’s Report (MLBTR), which focuses on major league transactions, published a preview of the players who will hit the free agent market after the season ends on Wednesday.
They categorized them by tier, with Maeda categorized as a wild card. Ryu Hyun-jin was in the same category.
“Maeda’s first season back from surgery looked good at first glance. His 4.28 ERA in 101 innings looked solid. In 16 starts since returning from his triceps injury, he has a 3.39 ERA with a 6.7% walk rate and 28.7% strikeout rate. We don’t know the full extent to which the injury has affected him this year, but since his return, he’s looked similar to his 2020 campaign, when he finished second in the Cy Young Award.”
The report went on to discuss the size of Maeda’s contract. ”Maeda will try to get a multi-year deal for the value of his health, but his age could limit him to a two-year deal,” the publication said.
Maeda signed an odd contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. It was a slave contract, with more incentives than base salary. Normally, base salaries are high, but Maeda’s contract was the opposite. He signed a long-term contract for eight years, but his base salary was only $25 million.
However, the Dodgers utilized Maeda as a bullpen pitcher rather than a starter. Wanting to be a starter, Maeda demanded a trade and was eventually sent to Minnesota ahead of the 2020 season.
With his new team, he established himself as a starter. In 2020, a COVID-19 shortened season, he went 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 11 games and 66⅔ innings, finishing second in American League Cy Young Award voting. His WHIP (walks allowed per inning) was just 0.75.
But the joy was short-lived. Injury struck. He tore a ligament in his elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2021. After about a year and a half of rehab, he returned for the start of the 2023 season. He struggled in April, going 4-4 with a 9.00 ERA in 16 innings pitched in four games. To add insult to injury, he suffered a triceps injury on April 27 against the New York Yankees and was sidelined again. This time, he was sidelined for two months, returning on June 24 against the Detroit Tigers.
He pitched well in his return. He went 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 2 games and 10 innings in June, including his first win of the season in his comeback. In July, he went 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA in 5 games and 27⅔ innings, but then he struggled a bit in August, going 1-1 with a 5.04 ERA in 5 games and 25 innings.
In September, he came back to life. By the 23rd, he had pitched 22⅓ innings in four games and swept three. His ERA is now 2.82. In 189 career major league games (155 starts), 863 innings pitched, he has a 65-48 record with a 3.92 ERA.온라인바카라
Meanwhile, the superlative unicorn is Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels). Then there are the first-round picks. Lucas Giolito (Cleveland Cavaliers), Sonny Gray (Minnesota Twins), Blake Snell (San Diego Padres), and others were categorized as first-rounders.
Conversely, there were pitchers who were question marks. Julio Urias (Los Angeles Dodgers), who was arrested for domestic violence, was on the list, as well as players who play in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and will be challenging for the major leagues through the postseason posting system. Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes), Shota Imanaga (Yokohama DeNA BayStars), and others.