December 9, 2015 / 8:55 PM / 3 years ago

Japanese pitcher Maeda to be posted for MLB bidders

Japan's starter Kenta Maeda pitches against the Netherlands in the first inning of the second round game at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in Tokyo March 10, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN)

(Reuters) - Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda will be made available to Major League Baseball clubs as the Hiroshima Carp of the Japan Central League confirmed to on Wednesday that they were posting him.

Maeda, 27, has registered a record of 97-67 and an ERA of 2.39 since joining the Carp in 2008. Last year, Maeda went 15-8 with a 2.09 ERA in 29 starts and earned his second Sawamura Award as the league’s top pitcher.

Under the posting rules, a maximum of $20 million can be set for Maeda’s release fee, which interested MLB teams would pay the Carp for the right to negotiate with him.

That fee is pocketed by the Carp should Maeda sign with an MLB club. Teams that bid but do not sign Maeda do not lose their $20 million fee.

Teams have 30 days from the official posting date, expected to come on Thursday, to close a deal with Maeda’s agents.

Reports this offseason have considered the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and D-backs as possible suitors, although Arizona has already bolstered their rotation by signing free agent Zack Greinke and trading for Braves starter Shelby Miller.

While Maeda has put up stats in Nippon Professional Baseball that compare favorably to the likes of Masahiro Tanaka and Yu Darvish, Maeda’s slight frame (6-foot, 154 pounds) and average fastball suggest he will not command a record contract.

Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes

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