O’s Dip Into Japanese Market

The Orioles have signed LHP Tsuyoshi Wada to a two year contract worth $8.15 million with a $5 million option.

This is the second time the Orioles have signed a player from Japan with the first of course being RHP Koji Uehara. Wada is a 30 year old soft tossing lefty that has put up some very good numbers over his career, especially the last two years. In 2010 he was 17-8 with a 3.14 ERA over 169.1 innings with 169 strikeouts and 55 walks before going 16-5 with a 1.53 ERA over 184.2 innings with 168 strikeouts and 40 walks during the most recent season. He doesn’t have a good fastball, sitting between 84-88 with not alot of movement, but he mixes his pitches and locates well. He also has a slider and a changeup and a deceptive delivery to keep hitters off balance. I think he’ll be given a chance to make the starting rotation out of spring training and he may be a decent 4th or 5th starter but I think his eventual destination will be as a set up guy, alot like Koji. This also keeps the door to Japan open and Duquette continues to keep his promise on the international market. I like that we will have an inventory of capable starters, now we just need to get some with front end ability. The depth could be a precursor to a Jeremy Guthrie trade, which I’d like to see because I think he would bring back good value.

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