Japanese pitcher Maeda to join Dodgers: reports

Japan's starting pitcher Kenta Maeda delivers the opening pitch to Puerto Rico in the first inning of their semi-final World Baseball Classic game in San Francisco, California, March 17, 2013. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed terms with Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda, multiple media outlets reported on Thursday, as the team continues to fill the void left by the departure of Zack Greinke. Maeda, a starting pitcher, has a 97-67 win-loss record and a 2.39 ERA in eight seasons with the Hiroshima Carp in Japan. The 27-year-old is coming off a 15-8 season which earned him a second Eiji Sawamura Award as the top starting pitcher in the league, the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young Award. Maeda was posted by the Hiroshima Carp, who will receive a fee of up to $20 million from any club that signs him. The Dodgers have yet to confirm the deal, reported to be for eight years, which comes hot on the heels of the signing of free agent left-hander Scott Kazmir. Maeda alluded to the deal on his Twitter account, wishing Los Angeles a happy new year and saying he was excited by a new challenge and delighted to accomplish a long held dream. The Dodgers are seeking to replace 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. Under an agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball, a player from Japan can negotiate with MLB clubs for 30 days after being posted. If the player signs during this period, the MLB team must pay the "posting fee" to the Japanese team. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney)