FILE - In this March 10, 2013 file photo, Japan's starter Kenta Maeda delivers a pitch against the Netherlands in the first inning of their World Baseball Classic second round game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. Maeda, 27-year-old right-hander, moved a step clos
Toru Takahashi, File
December 04, 2015

TOKYO (AP) Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda moved a step closer to playing in Major League Baseball on Friday when the Hiroshima Carp agreed to post him.

MLB teams can earn the right to negotiate with Maeda for 30 days by agreeing to pay Hiroshima a maximum fee of $20 million.

The 27-year-old right-hander is a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award given to Japan's top pitcher.

Maeda matched a career high in wins this season with a 15-8 record, and a 2.09 ERA. He also helped Japan win the bronze medal at the Premier12 tournament last month.

He is not eligible for free agency until 2017. Maeda first asked Hiroshima to post him two years ago, but the team declined.

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