The New York Mets have signed Daisuke Matsuzaka to a minor league contract that includes an invite to major league Spring Training.
Source: Press Release 1/24/2014
CBS Sports' Dayn Perry is already looking to Hiroshima's Kenta Maeda.
The answer may be Hiroshima Carp right-hander Kenta Maeda. Meada, who, like Tanaka, is just 25 years of age, has already stated publicly that he wants to be posted, and there was even speculation that he'd be posted this offseason after the new system was put in place. That seems unlikely to happen, obviously, but there's a very strong chance that Maeda will be made available to MLB clubs prior to the 2015 season.
... Maeda is giving away two inches and almost 50 pounds to Tanaka, who, let it be said, is not especially big-framed by the standards of MLB right-handers. As such, U.S. evaluators may have some concerns about Maeda's ability to withstand stateside workloads. Badler also notes that Maeda lacks a true wipeout pitch like, say, Tanaka's splitter.
Given all that, Maeda will likely profile as a mid-rotation guy in MLB -- not a certifiable ace like Yu Darvish and not a strong no. 2 like Tanaka. ... Adding to Maeda's appeal is that, as noted, he'll be just 26 years of age should he hit the U.S. market next offseason.
Source: CBS Sports 1/25/2014
IMHO, I think think there might be two scenarios where Hiroshima could post Maeda after the current season:
- He helps Hiroshima win a Nippon Series in much the same way Masahiro Tanaka did with the Rakuten Eagles last year.
- The other younger pitchers step up and show enough promise to convince the front office they no longer need him.
FYI: Maeda has about two years until he earns his domestic FA option and about three years until his international FA option.