Tsuyoshi Wada Rumors

Orioles Sign Tsuyoshi Wada

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.


Orioles Nearing Deal With Tsuyoshi Wada

11:22am: The Orioles are "really working on" a deal for Chen as well, tweets Connolly. There's more competition for Chen, who will likely cost more than Wada in terms of years and dollars.

9:35am: The sides are nearing a two-year, $8.15MM deal that will include an option for 2014, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links).

8:46am: The Orioles are closing in on a multiyear deal with Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles haven't finalized an agreement with the free agent, but they're "getting there." 

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

Connolly notes that the Orioles remain interested in left-hander Wei-Yin ChenMLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggested in November that a four-year, $20MM deal might be enough to sign the 26-year-old free agent. He posted a 2.68 ERA with 5.1 K/9 in 164 2/3 innings this past season.


Pirates Interested In Cespedes, Chen, Wada

The Pirates are interested in outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and free agent left-handers Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter links). However, they'll quickly back away if the bidding on Cespedes gets "crazy." Cespedes is expected to become a free agent relatively soon and Wada and Chen have been able to negotiate with MLB teams since free agency began Thursday.

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

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggested last month that a four-year, $20MM deal might be enough to sign Chen. The 26-year-old posted a 2.68 ERA with 5.1 K/9 in 164 2/3 innings this past season.



Morosi On Fielder, Randy Wells, Guthrie

A "tense three-week period that will shape [baseball's] landscape for the following year" begins today, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  His latest:

  • Agent Scott Boras has pared down Prince Fielder's sales pitch binder but still has 70 pages worth, he tells Morosi.  Morosi says Fielder's suitors are believed to be the Cubs, Nationals, Rangers, and Mariners.
  • The Cubs are open to moving Randy Wells, indicates Morosi as he lists available starting pitchers.  Wells, 29, is under team control through 2014.  MLBTR projects him to earn $2.2MM in 2012.  
  • The Angels and Orioles discussed the possibility of a Jeremy Guthrie trade in recent days.  Guthrie, 33 in April, projects to earn $8.3MM in 2012 before hitting free agency.
  • Japanese players including righty Hisashi Iwakuma, lefties Tsuyoshi Wada and Wei-Yin Chen, and second baseman Kensuke Tanaka can begotiate with MLB teams after free agency in Japan begins Thursday.  The Yakult Swallows intend to post outfielder Norichika Aoki after the Winter Meetings, adds Morosi.

Nationals Interested In Tsuyoshi Wada

The Nationals have expressed interest in Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Wada, 30, is eligible for free agency and appears to be eyeing MLB.

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.


Dodgers Notes: Ethier, Wada, Mattingly, Payroll

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.

Tsuyoshi Wada Eyeing MLB

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.


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