Detroit Tigers "Have Serious Interest" In 7-Year Veteran Starting Pitcher

The Detroit Tigers have shown a "serious interest" in acquiring free-agent right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda, a move that could significantly impact their rotation.

Reports from various sources, including Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, have highlighted the Tigers' intention to bring Maeda onto their roster.

This interest comes in the wake of Eduardo Rodriguez's decision to opt out of his contract, leaving a gap in the Tigers' starting lineup.

Maeda, known for his tenure with the Minnesota Twins and a successful career in Japan's NPB before joining MLB, could bring valuable experience to the Tigers.

At 35, Maeda is a seasoned veteran who could act as a stabilizer for the team's younger rotation.

Maeda's addition would not only bolster this lineup but also help Detroit establish itself in the Japanese pitching market.

Maeda's recent performance is notable, especially considering it was his first full season back after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

In 2023, he pitched 104.1 innings for the Twins with a 4.23 ERA, impressive strikeout (27.3%) and walk (6.5%) rates.

However, his end-of-season numbers were skewed by a particularly poor performance in April, where he allowed 10 runs in three innings against the Boston Red Sox, followed by a triceps strain that led to nearly two months on the injured list.

Post-injury, Maeda delivered a strong performance, including five shutout innings against the Tigers. His ERA in the final 88.1 innings was a commendable 3.36, with a 29% strikeout rate.

Maeda's career statistics further bolster his profile.

With 866.1 innings in the major leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Twins, he has maintained a 3.92 ERA and a solid postseason record, including a 3.24 ERA in 41.2 innings.

His performance in the 2020 season, where he was the runner-up in the American League Cy Young voting, demonstrates his capability as a mid-rotation pitcher. Photo Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports