January 8, 2016 / 1:17 AM / 3 years ago

Japanese pitcher Maeda joins Dodgers on eight-year deal

Kenta Maeda warms up before play against Puerto Rico in 2013. Maeda has been signed up with Los Angeles Dodgers for eight-year deal REUTERS/Mike Blake

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Dodgers signed an eight-year contract with Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda on Thursday as the team continues to fill the void left by the departure of Zack Greinke.

Maeda, a starting pitcher, has registered a record of 97-67 and a 2.39 earned-run average since he joined the Hiroshima Carp of the Japan Central League in 2008.

The 27-year-old is coming off a 15-8 season with a 2.09 ERA in 29 starts and earned his second Sawamura Award as the league’s top pitcher.

“We are excited to be bringing Kenta Maeda into the Dodger organization,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in a statement.

“We have had the chance to scout him extensively in Japan and on the international stage and believe he has all the tools to be a successful Major League starting pitcher.”

Having signed left-handed starter Scott Kazmir last week, the Dodgers were seeking to further bolster their rotation after the departure of Greinke, who has joined National League West rivals Arizona in a blockbuster six-year deal.

Greinke finished second in the Cy Young Award voting this year after recording the best ERA in the majors.

Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue

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