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The Detroit Tigers have strengthened their pitching rotation by signing Kenta Maeda, a veteran right-hander, to a two-year contract valued at $24 million pending his physical examination. The deal has been confirmed by various sources.
Maeda, who is 36 in April, brings a wealth of experience to the Tigers' rotation. He has spent seven years in the majors and finished second in Cy Young voting in 2020. Maeda's track record and potential for a strong comeback make him a valuable addition to the team, despite being plagued by injuries, including Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2022 season.
The Tigers are aiming to improve their pitching staff as they strive to compete in the winnable American League Central, after finishing with a 78-84 record in the 2023 season. Maeda's addition is anticipated to bolster the pitching rotation, complementing burgeoning talents such as Tarik Skubal, Casey Mize, Reese Olson, and Matt Manning, and lending greater depth to the team.
Maeda's performance towards the end of the 2023 season instilled optimism about his potential impact in Detroit, as he posted an ERA of 3.39 and showcased proficiency in limiting home runs. His pitching style, which accentuates strengths while hiding weaknesses, correlates well with the Tigers' approach of targeting mid-tier pitching talent.
The signing of Maeda reflects the Tigers' commitment to fortifying the team while being fiscally cautious.
This move not only allows for further exploration of potential additions, but also signals their intention to compete meaningfully in the American League Central division next season. As a result, the addition of Maeda represents a vital step in their offseason plans.
The Tigers' proactive signing of Maeda highlights their commitment to constructing a competitive team and mounting a strong push for success in the 2024 MLB season.