While the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price after the three-team trade with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins reached an impasse, it required moving forward with two separate deals.
But just like with the original framework of the blockbuster trade, the Dodgers ultimately parted with Kenta Maeda. He eventually was sent to Minnesota, as originally planned, but instead with the Dodgers receiving Brusdar Graterol, Luke Raley and a pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
The deal figured to give Maeda an opportunity to remain a full-time starting pitcher, which hadn’t been the case during his four years with the Dodgers.
Furthermore, it has now come to light that the trade fulfilled a request Maeda made to the Dodgers as he hopes to reach 200 career wins, according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times:
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 29, 2020
Last November it was reported Maeda and his representatives approached the Dodgers about a potential trade. The conversation stemmed from the right-hander wishing to avoid the seemingly annual shift to the bullpen.
Even with moving Maeda into a role as a relief pitcher come October, the Dodgers returned him to the starting rotation come Opening Day of the ensuing season. Well before the trade, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman had already indicated Maeda was viewed as a starter.
Then speaking at Dodgers FanFest in January, Friedman said the club hoped Maeda met his goal of making at least 30 starts this year. Friedman additionally noted the Dodgers worked to motivate Maeda on improving against left-handed batters.
Despite Maeda seeking a trade from the Dodgers, he has spoken highly of his time with the organization. After the deal was made official, Maeda thanked the Dodgers, his former teammates and fans, and made a lighthearted 2020 World Series prediction.
Maeda went 47-35 with a 3.87 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 641 strikeouts in 589 innings over 137 career games (103 starts) with the Dodgers.
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