Kenta Maeda's time with the Minnesota Twins may have drawn to a close as they went out of the American League Division Series in a 3-2 Game 4 loss to the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

Due to be a free agent in the offseason, Maeda was the last Japanese player left in this year's MLB postseason. He allowed three runs over four innings in the best-of-five series but did not pitch in the decider at Target Field.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda is pictured smiling ahead of Game 4 of MLB's American League Division Series against the Houston Astros at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Oct. 11, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"We had a good team this year and had a chance to advance. It's frustrating to lose at this stage," said the 35-year-old, who missed the whole of last year following Tommy John surgery in September 2021.

The right-hander lost his first four starts before being placed on the injured list for nearly two months with a right triceps strain, but recovered to post a 6-8 record with a 4.23 ERA while starting all but one of his 21 regular season games.

"The season began with anxiety as things didn't quite go well in early spring, but I could show my strength and throw without worry from midway through the season," he said. "It's been a really good year. I believe I can throw all season next year."

The former Hiroshima Carp ace joined the Los Angeles Dodgers on an eight-year contract in 2016 before being traded to the Twins in 2020.

"It feels both long and short. I'm glad to have gotten through the eight years," he said. "I'm becoming a free agent for the first time in my life so there's anxiety, excitement and also some loneliness."

Maeda said notching the 38 more wins he needs to reach 200 in his career between Japan's majors and MLB is a goal of his.

"My elbow has been renewed, so I believe I can throw at least five more years," Maeda said. "I'll decide where to play based on the offers I get."


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