Mae-ken makes it official

Good morning everyone,

Those sunny fall days with highs around 20C and overnight lows in the double digits are gone. Today and the rest of the week will see highs between 11C and 14C with lows dropping down to 4C or 5C on some days. They are also calling for a chance of rain later today, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to take your umbrella with you this morning.

Well, we all suspected it was going to happen and today's paper made it official-Kentaro Maeda has expressed interest in pitching in the Majors next season. It is by no means, a done-deal. The Carp still own his rights and have to give him permission to go. Knowing what little I do about the Carp ownership, I imagine that it won't be too difficult to convince them because they can ask up to $20 million from teams for the rights to negotiate with him and they can certainly use the money.

Then, the next hurdle would be finding a Major League team willing to pony up that kind of cash for Mae-ken. Again, it probably shouldn't be too hard. There were several bidders for Yu Darvish and Tanaka who have both done well for their teams. This year, like most years, there's a shortage of top-of-the-rotation pitchers, so teams will definitely be considering him...well, the richer teams anyway.

Does that mean that he won't be back next year? It's not a foregone conclusion, but I think we can say pretty safely that Mae-ken has pitched his last game as a Carp...for a while anyway. Maybe he'll pull the same stunt as Kuroda and head to the US to make his millions and then come back to the Carp for one last hurrah.

As a Carp fan, it's a huge blow for our hopes of seeing them win a championship, but their pitching is their strong suit, so they can probably survive without him if...and it's a big IF...if the owners use the money they get from the posting system to pick up some players that can actually hit the ball! Ha ha!

As a Toronto Blue Jays fan, it'd be great to see him play for the Blue Jays-for two reasons: 1) Toronto is a great team right now and a pitcher like Mae-ken would fit in well in their rotation and they've got the money to pay for him and 2) it would mean that I would have a much better chance of catching Blue Jays on Japanese tv! They only show games that feature Japanese stars and Munenori Kawasaki doesn't count as a star...ha ha!

Have a great day!

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