Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada will return to Japan’s top league, Nippon Professional Baseball, to sign a multi-year contract with his former club, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, according to a report from Sports Hochi (Japanese link). The 34-year-old Wada, a client of Octagon, has a basic agreement in place, per the report, and a formal announcement will be made in the near future.
Wada first jumped from Japan to the Major Leagues prior to the 2012 season when he signed a two-year, $8.15MM contract with the Orioles. However, he’d never take the mound for Baltimore, as he underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in early May of that 2012 season. Wada would go on to land a minor league deal with the Cubs for the 2014 season and ink a one-year, $4MM pact with the team one year ago tomorrow.
Wada tossed just 32 1/3 innings for the Cubs in 2015, but his work was quality, as it was the previous season. All told, while his attempt to establish himself in the Majors dates back to 2011, it will seemingly conclude with just 101 2/3 big league innings — none of which came with the team that originally signed him and invested in his arm most heavily. Wada will head back to Japan with a strong 3.36 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 38.7 percent ground-ball rate in the Majors. While the sample is limited, those numbers aren’t too far removed from the 3.13 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 that he logged in 1444 2/3 innings across his nine professional seasons in Japan.