To get the right-handed Maeda, who turns 28 in April, a club should expect to pay his Japanese club a $20 million release fee, plus a five-year deal for Maeda at around $80 million.
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The Dodgers are believed to prefer a trade for Miami ace Jose Fernandez or Tampa Bay fourth starter Jake Odorizzi, but don't want to deal such top prospects as Corey Seager or Julio Urias to do it.
They also reportedly have some interest in Scott Kazmir, one of the few remaining free agents who could crack their rotation.
With Zack Greinke's departure, Hyun-Jin Ryu coming off shoulder surgery and the club backing out of a deal for free agent Hisashi Iwakuma, the Dodgers are in need of starting pitching.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.