When the Los Angeles Dodgers initially reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price in a blockbuster three-team trade that also included the Minnesota Twins, they were poised to part with Kenta Maeda.
But after reaching an impasse that held up the finalization of the deal, the Dodgers were forced to proceed without the Twins being part of the transaction. L.A. ultimately sent Maeda to Minnesota in a separate trade that netted Brusdar Graterol.
With the Twins in town this week for a three-game series, the Dodgers welcomed back Maeda to Dodger Stadium for the first time as a visiting player.
After an eight-year career with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), Maeda made the jump to MLB by signing an eight-year contract with the Dodgers prior to the 2016 season.
Welcome back to Dodger Stadium, Kenta! pic.twitter.com/FNDdFKjaa4
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 16, 2023
The right-hander went on to pitch in four seasons for the Dodgers, going 47-35 with a 3.87 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 1.15 WHIP and 9.8 strikeouts per nine in 589 innings across 173 games (139 starts).
Maeda immediately found success with the Twins as he enjoyed his best year during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, posting a 6-1 record, 2.70 ERA, 3.00 FIP, 0.75 WHIP and 10.8 strikeouts per nine en route to a second-place finish in American League Cy Young Award voting.
However, Maeda wasn’t able to replicate that success the following year and then missed the entire 2022 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Maeda returned to the mound this year but has struggled to the tune of an 0-4 record, 9.00 ERA, 4.55 FIP and 1.63 WHIP in 16 innings of work through four starts. He is currently on the 15-day injured list with a right triceps strain.
Kenta Maeda didn’t request trade from Dodgers
While it was originally believed Maeda approached the Dodgers with a trade request, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman later clarified that never occurred.
Maeda, however, wanted to start on a regular basis as he had a goal of winning 200 career games and wasn’t a fan of pitching out of the bullpen.
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