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Tsuyoshi Wada Rumors
The Orioles announced that they have signed Japanese starter Tsuyoshi Wada to a two-year deal that includes a club option for 2014. The contract guarantees the free agent left-hander $8.15MM and the option is worth $5MM, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun The Orioles are also seriously interested in Japanese starter Wei-Yin Chen, as Connolly reported yesterday.
Wada posted a 1.51 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 184 2/3 innings for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in 2011. The 30-year-old is a Dallas Braden type with "a 86-87 mph fastball, a good circle change, and a solid slider," according to Patrick Newman of FanGraphs. Manager Buck Showalter can now add Wada to a rotation that will include some of the following pitchers: Jeremy Guthrie, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen, Zach Britton and Dana Eveland.
MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted that the Orioles would sign Wada, who placed 34th on MLBTR's list of top free agents. Connolly first reported that the sides were nearing a deal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports added detail.
Wada posted a 1.51 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 184 2/3 innings for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in 2011. Washington has scouted Wada quite a bit, according to Ladson, and the Dodgers also appear to have scouted him.
Wada is a Dallas Braden type with "a 86-87 mph fastball, a good circle change, and a solid slider," according to Patrick Newman of FanGraphs. Newman has expressed doubts about Wada's ability to handle an MLB workload, but the Nationals have publicly expressed interest in durable starters.
2011 may have been the most tumultuous season in Dodger history, but it was still a winning one as the club finished with an 82-79 record. Here's the latest from Chavez Ravine….
- "Andre Ethier's quirky personality has begun to wear thin on teammates and staff alike," several sources have told ESPN Los Angeles' Tony Jackson. While Ethier would bring back a solid return on the trade market, Jackson doesn't think a move is likely to happen since Ned Colletti said the club needs Ethier's bat.
- Also from Tony Jackson, a source close to the Dodgers says assistant GM Logan White was recently in Japan scouting left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. Wada will be a free agent this winter and is known to be looking at a move to Major League Baseball. NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman compared Wada to Dallas Braden, pitching-wise.
- Don Mattingly's first season may be "more of a managerial audition than a chance for Mattingly to establish himself as a Los Angeles fixture in the dugout," writes T.J. Simers for the Los Angeles Times. Simers suspects a new owner will want to "fumigate the place" of past Frank McCourt decisions, including hiring a new manager.
- Alex Tabin has been hired as the Dodgers' new Director of Baseball Contracts, Research and Operations, according to a club press release. As Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times explains, Tabin will fill many of the duties handled by former assistant GM Kim Ng.
- The Dodgers will have roughly $105MM committed to their 2012 payroll, projects Jon Weisman for ESPN Los Angeles. This could mean L.A. will have little to spend this winter, especially if any extra money goes into multiyear extensions for Ethier, Clayton Kershaw, and/or Matt Kemp.
Southbank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada owns a 1.80 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 2/0 BB/9, and 0.41 HR/9 on the season. According to NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman, Wada recently reached the service time requirement for free agent eligibility and "is widely expected to make a run at an MLB contract this offseason."
Wada, 31 in February, is a Dallas Braden type with "a 86-87 mph fastball, a good circle change, and a solid slider," in the opinion of Newman. Newman's biggest concern is whether Wada could handle the innings required of an MLB starting pitcher.
In an email exchange, Newman guessed that teams might view a two-year deal in the $8MM range as a reasonable risk for Wada this offseason. Wada may be viewed by some as a reliever, though the pitcher's view on his role is not known. Wada ought to generate decent interest this offseason, though the bigger name pitchers coming out of Japan will be Hisashi Iwakuma and perhaps Yu Darvish.