Kenta Maeda’s contract might be more team-friendly than reported

The details of Kenta Maeda‘s unique contract with the Dodgers appeared to finalized last week after a long period of speculation on what it would look like. According to the official team site, the deal looked like this:

With an annual base salary of $3 million plus a $1 million signing bonus, according to the AP Maeda each year can earn $150,000 for being on the Opening Day roster, $1 million each for 15 and 20 starts, $1.5 million each for 25, 30 and 32 starts, $250,000 for every 10 innings pitched from 90 to 190 and $750,000 for 200 innings pitched.

The Dodgers also must pay Maeda’s Japan club a $20 million release fee, which Friedman said led to a contract that binds Maeda to the Dodgers for eight seasons. There are no opt-outs, option years or no-trade provisions, but Maeda will receive a payment if he is traded.

But now Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting something slightly different and slightly more team friendly.

Previously, the max value of the contract was $106.2 million over eight years due to ~$10 million per year in incentives, but now we’re reportedly looking at ~$8 million a year in incentives. The difference between the old and new total value of the contract is the lack of the $750k bonus for hitting 200 innings and only $1 million for hitting starts 25, 30, and 32 instead of $1.5 million.

I’m not sure exactly why the official team site would get this information wrong or if the contract changed due to Maeda’s physical, but I doubt a reliable reporter like Passan reports this five days after the Maeda contract is announced with a press conference unless it’s new information.

Anyway, regardless of what you felt about the signing, it shouldn’t change your opinion much. Personally, I already saw it as a low-risk, high-reward type of investment, even accounting for the iffy physical, so this news only makes the contract a bit better in my eyes if it’s true.

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In other relevant news, Hyun Jin Ryu threw off the mound yesterday and his arm didn’t implode, so that’s good. Expect constant updates on this and having to hold your breath hoping you don’t hear reports of “stiffness” or “soreness” or “shut down”. Or at least that’s what I will be doing.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times