Are you ready to be wowed by Scott Harris' offseason plan? Well get ready folks, because he's coming in hot with some (reported) interest in another bargain bin starting pitcher.
Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press has reported that the Detroit Tigers are showing serious interest in free agent starting pitcher Kenta Maeda. The original story is locked behind a subscription, so this is coming from MLB Trade Rumors.
In the original story, Petzold writes the following:
"The club views (Maeda) as a possible veteran stabilizer for a young rotation and also hopes a potential Maeda deal would help to 'establish themselves in the Japanese pitching market' in the future"- Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press.
I mean, look, Maeda would be a fine signing. He's on the older side at 35, but that splitter is still pretty nasty. He pitched for the Twins the last few years, so the Tigers saw him a lot. I personally always dreaded facing him because I knew Tigers hitters would have trouble laying off that splitter.
In theory, signing him to a one-year deal and having him go through the lab of Chris Fetter and Robin Lund doesn't sound like a bad idea. But like...really? Seriously? Kenta Maeda? That just doesn't move the needle for me.
The other part here kind of makes me laugh. Yes, let's sign a starting pitcher from Japan that's been in the big leagues since 2016 to a short-term deal in an effort to establish a relationship with future Japanese starting pitchers. "Look guys, we signed one starting pitcher from Japan! We like Japanese starting pitchers!" Nice galaxy brain plan you got there, Scott.
Look, as much as I make fun of it, they haven't even signed Maeda yet. Who knows? Maybe they won't sign him at all. This is just reported interest, after all. But Petzold is pretty credible and has a history of being right about this kind of stuff.
Again, Maeda would be fine. Very boring and uninspired, but fine. Will the Tigers actually sign him and lead to a pipeline where they get Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Roki Sasaki? Time will only tell.