Okay, this one is a bit wild. Kenta Maeda has not been great for the Minnesota Twins as he missed all of the 2022 season and some of this year with injuries (in addition to not pitching all that well in 2021. He really only helped the Twins during the shortened 2020 campaign.
Maeda has made 26 starts since his excellent 2020 season with the Twins and has a 5.02 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. His ERA this season is 6.86. On paper, it makes absolutely no sense to acquire Maeda with his struggles and injury history.
All that being said, this would not be the first reclamation project that the Dodgers have successfully taken on. Maeda is going to be an extremely cheap asset to trade for because Minnesota will likely take anything for half-season of the right-hander on an expiring contract. All it will likely take is a player to be named later or some cash for Maeda to come back to LA.
So why come back to Los Angeles? With the sole intention of pitching out of the bullpen. Maeda has struggled as a starter this season and has struggled to stay on the field, but what if he moved back into a relief role for the Dodgers?
After all, Maeda has a nasty pitch mix that has made him really successful out of the bullpen. At this stage of his career, he may be far better off pitching in short spurts than trying to throw 80+ pitches in a start. If it's working for Shelby Miller, why can't it work for Maeda?
And let's not forget just how dominant Maeda was out of the bullpen for the Dodgers in the playoffs. During the postseason from 2017-2019, Maeda made 21 appearances as a reliever. He sported a 1.64 ERA in 22 innings pitched with 27 strikeouts and an opponents' OPS of .504. He allowed a run in just three of his 21 appearances.
The Dodgers should try and recapture that magic. Back then it was contentious with Maeda (which ultimately led to his trade) as his contract was baked-in with starting pitcher incentives. With this being the last year of his deal, Maeda will be much more willing to accept this role as it could prolong his professional career.