Orioles Sign Japanese Pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada

The Orioles have agreed* to a two-year, $8.15 M contract (with a $5 M team option for 2014) with 30 year-old Japanese left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada. His career numbers include 1,260 IP of 3.37 ERA ball, 8.3 K.9, 2.5 BB/9, and 1 HR/9. Sounds like he throws in the mid to upper 80s with some solid secondary pitches. good control, and some occasional longball issues – if he’s good a broadcaster will probably call him a “crafty left”. That doesn’t sound exciting at all, but it could be enough for 120 innings a year of 4.75 ERA ball out of the rotation  – which would be about sufficient to keep the contract from being a loss. As a reliever it would be harder to come out even, since I’d be quite surprised if he is able to increase his strike-out rate to the same degree that Koji Uehara did (and he seems to have only good control, as opposed to the exceptional control that Uehara does). Relatively low risk, low-to-medium return type move, though it does make the Dana Eveland trade look even worse (how many soft-tossing starters does one team need in the AL East?). It is nice to see the team going after international players though, and maybe if Wada has some success the O’s can turn him into a younger player with some upside at the trade-deadline.

* This one is official, unlike the Chong Tae-Hyon deal, which fell through as he decided to stay in Korea.