Could The Yankees Look To Japan For Another Starting Pitcher?


We have all heard the rumors about the Yankees targeting Jon Lester, James Shields or Max Scherzer in free agency as they look to upgrade their starting pitching staff. The Yankees could look to Japan again for another starting pitcher in the person of Kenta Maeda. Here is Nick Cafardo from the Boston Globe had to say on Maeda:

"9. Kenta Maeda, RHP, Hiroshima — He has told some Japanese media that when he’s posted he prefers to play for the Yankees or Red Sox. Both are likely to bid, but the final contract isn’t expected to come anywhere near the seven-year, $155 million Masahiro Tanaka got from the Yankees. It’s hard to peg where it goes, but the expectation is more like a six-year, $120 million-$130 million deal. — but that’s speculation from a source familiar with Japanese baseball."

Maeda went 11-8 for the Hiroshima Carp this past year with a 2.56 ERA. He had a 1.08 WHIP and struck out 154 in 179 innings.

Not exactly Tanaka numbers.

Maeda has thrown 1295 innings in his seven seasons in Japan, while only throwing less than 175 in his first year. He tops out at 92 MPH with his fastball and has three off-speed pitches.

More from Yankees News

Maeda will be going into his age-27 season this year, which does give a leg up in the age department compared to the other free agents pitchers.

However, you do have to take a look at the workload and wonder, just like Tanaka, if that arm may give out at some point. If the Yankees choose to go with Maeda for the money mentioned above, it means they struck out on the big three and may have lost out on Brandon McCarthy as well.