From what I hear, Kenta Maeda is not happy about his role with the Dodgers. He has been moved from the rotation to the bullpen and back over that past couple of years.
After taking a close look at his pitching results, I do agree with Maeda, that he does deserve to be a full-time starter.
At first glance, his 2019 results do not look so great with his 10-8 record and his 4.04 ERA. Those numbers do fall in line with his career stats of 47 wins, 35 loses, and a 3.87 ERA. But when you start looking at his other 2019 numbers, including only giving up 114 hits in 153.2 innings, 169 strikeouts and his 1.074 WHIP, Maeda is a dominant pitcher and would fit in nicely as our fifth starter.
His ability to also pitch in the bullpen may come in handy if we make the playoffs in 2020. His 2019 numbers also remind me of some years had by Sid Fernandez in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. From the .500 type win-loss record to the low hit per inning rate, to the high strikeout per inning rate.
I think Maeda could be had for a package including some B level prospects and a MLB ready player like Dominic Smith. I do think Smith did show us last year that he is an MLB caliber player but with the Polar Bear in his way, I think Smith could be a nice addition for a team that is in need of a solid up and coming first basemen.
The challenge here is whether or not the Dodgers are in the market for a player like Smith. Of course, there’s nothing that says they can’t flip him for a need of their own.
Maeda is making a relatively low $3,125,000 per year, which is an added bonus for the typically frugal Mets organization.