Detroit Tigers rumored to be getting closer to a deal with Kenta Maeda.
The Detroit Tigers are reportedly turning the heat up on the stove. Things are heating up. The latest rumors are an extension of something that was reported earlier this week. The Tigers' talks with free-agent right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda are intensifying as the two sides continue to negotiate a deal.
Nothing is set in stone; no reported figures on a deal between Maeda and the Detroit Tigers have emerged, but the rumors are pointing to things accelerating. It was reported that the two sides are moving the needle on a deal by Jon Morosi. The original report came from Tigers beat writer Evan Petzold, who noted the two sides may be heading toward a merger.
But, the latest points to Detroit looking to move the needle even further. Regardless of how you may feel, there's no kidding that Maeda would be an upgrade to the pitching staff. It might be an excellent move for the Tigers, especially if it means that they do not spend $10-15 million on a backend starter who's worth almost nothing.
Maeda is used to the American League (AL) Central, having pitched for the Minnesota Twins the last few seasons. Though he missed 2022, he's logged three years' worth of appearances for the Twins. In 2023, Maeda made 20 starts, totaling 104.1 innings pitched with one relief appearance. He pitched to a 4.23 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, and managed 28 walks to 117 strikeouts.
Detroit will need to add at least one piece to its rotation, and a move like Maeda would not be the worst thing in the world. There's more motivation with Maeda, even as a 35-year-old arm. The Japanese-born pitcher would help the Tigers tap into the international market in Japan, which is something that Scott Harris and company want to do more of.
The team has been linked to Yoshinobu Yamamoto this off-season. They may not be the top suitor, but they are reportedly trying to make their case for the Japanese superstar who the Orix Buffaloes have posted. Detroit has some decisions to make, but they will try to make a move for Maeda and start there when it comes to assembling their 2024 starting rotation.
The stove may not be scalding hot yet, but it is seemingly starting to heat up. The Detroit Tigers need to make a move and get the ball rolling again. They started with a flurry of off-season moves and a trade for Mark Canha, but things slowed down again.