With the Dodgers/Red Sox and Dodgers/Twins deals finally set in stone, a new era in Los Angeles baseball begins. With another MVP in Mookie Betts to go alongside reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, Andrew Friedman has finally bucked stingy frugality in favor of “going all-in” (translation: an all-in move while still retaining the organization’s trademark farm system and depth).
What shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle, however, is the significance of Kenta Maeda’s departure. It’s not a particularly difficult one to come to terms with. His frustration with having to pitch in relief, against the incentives of his contract, was hardly concealed. Plus, he just couldn’t hold a rotation spot with seemingly endless young aces coming up.
Nonetheless, Maeda carved out a unique spot in Dodger lore in the 2010s. Much like the also recently departed Hyun-Jin Ryu, he brought international flavor to a franchise that’s long prided itself on diversity. And while he hated pitching in relief, his efforts there helped yield two NL pennants.
It was a short run, but one full of memories worth savoring. Here’s Kenta Maeda’s greatest hits (or, technically, a couple hits and…