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Kenta Maeda joins Twins rotation after week in limbo

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The acquisition of Kenta Maeda took the Minnesota Twins longer than they anticipated.

The trade that was made to get him, the team believes, will be well worth the wait and the price.

“We made a lot of decisions this offseason to invest in the now,” Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said. “Now we also get a pitcher here who we think is going to impact us now and beyond.”

Maeda joined the AL Central champions on Thursday morning, three days after the Twins finalized the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and more than a week after the initial agreement on the three-team trade that also involved the Boston Red Sox was first struck.

The move was the latest by the Twins in demonstration of their desire to play deeper into October. Last month, they signed third baseman Josh Donaldson to the biggest free agent contract in club history, a four-year deal worth $92 million. They’ve also added free agent pitchers Homer Bailey, Rich Hill and Tyler Clippard and catcher Alex Avila and re-signed pitchers Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda and Sergio Romo.

The Twins have already declared Maeda will be a starter for them in their attempt to repeat as division champions. Maeda, who went 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA in 153 2/3 innings in 2019, spent the past few seasons in Los Angeles shuffling back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen. His addition will be especially helpful during the first half of the season, with Pineda completing a suspension until mid-May and Hill rehabilitating from elbow surgery until sometime in June or July.

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