After staying quiet for most of the offseason, Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman essentially remodeled the entire roster over the past week with a pair of trades.
The big move, of course, was a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox to send Mookie Betts and David Price to L.A. It originally was set to be a three-team trade with the Minnesota Twins, but the Red Sox had issues with the medicals of Twins pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol, which put things on hold.
After a few more days of negotiating, the Dodgers were able to complete the deal with the Red Sox, and then also a second trade with the Twins to acquire the hard-throwing Graterol for themselves.
In addition to sending Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong to Boston, the Dodgers also parted with Kenta Maeda as he was dealt to Minnesota along with prospect Jair Camargo and cash for Graterol, a familiar face in Luke Raley and a compensation draft pick.
Maeda is obviously the name that Dodgers are most familiar with as he had pitched the last four seasons in L.A. after coming over from Japan. He had success as both a starter and reliever, but his desire to be a full-time starter led to him being dealt and he will now get that opportunity with the Twins.
Before embarking on his new journey, Maeda took to Instagram to thank the Dodgers organization, his teammates and fans for treating him well during his time in L.A. and also snuck in a World Series prediction:
View this post on Instagram
Dear Dodgers, Players, Staff, and Fans, I would like to take this moment to express my gratitude for welcoming my family from Japan to Los Angeles. Coming from Japan, there were a lot of difference from both living in the United States and playing in MLB for the first time, but you guys have made every moment enjoyable and I’m happy to have belonged to a fantastic organization. Being able to play in back to back World Series was truly a highlight of my baseball career. I thank the amazing staff and teammates for the past 4 seasons as I learned a tremendous amount from each and one of you. I also appreciate the fans for cheering me both on and off field. I will do my best to level up and win games for the Twins. I’ll see you next in the World Series. @dodgers #thankyou #dodgers
While acquiring talents of Betts’ and Price’s caliber is a big move for the Dodgers as they look to get back to the World Series in 2020, losing quality players that fans were so fond of like Maeda and Verdugo is tough as well.
In 137 career games (103 starts) with the Dodgers, Maeda pitched to a 3.87 ERA with 641 strikeouts in 589 innings. He was also very good in the postseason, yielding a 3.31 ERA in 32.2 October innings.
Fans can take solace in the fact that at least Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling are still with the team, though potentially only for now, after the Dodgers’ trade with the L.A. Angels fell through.
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