In an attempt to strengthen their rotation, the Orioles have signed Japanese free agent Tsuyoshi Wada. The terms of the deal are pretty fair, as the southpaw will earn 8.15M over two years. He’s a soft tossing lefty, who might touch 89 MPH on his best days. Still, he had a fantastic 4.2 K:BB last season, so it’s likely that he’ll have some success in the majors as a back of the rotation starter.
It’s a good gamble for the O’s, as Wada would still be worth his contract even if he’s pitching in middle relief. He’s on a short term deal, which will provide the team with some protection in case their young pitchers struggle in the majors.
It’s a positive step for Duquette, who recently make a very questionable decision to trade with the Dodgers for Dana Eveland. Another southpaw, Eveland has been the definition of freely available talent over his career. He’s a starter who can fill in for injuries, and then be released or demoted back to the minors. He has little if any upside, which makes it an odd decision to both trade for Eveland, and to give up minor league players for him.
In fairness, it’s unlikely that Jarret Martin or Tyler Henson become anything of significance for the Dodgers. Still, it’s disappointing that Duquette would give up a player for Eveland. The Orioles aren’t at a point where they should be giving up on young players, especially for veterans like Eveland.
Back to Wada – who does come with some risks. He’s been injury prone, and as a result he may not pitch 200+ innings for the Orioles. As long as he eats innings and allows the Orioles to take their time developing their prospects in the minors, it will be a successful deal.