The Baltimore Orioles made an international splash of sorts back in the winter of 2011 as they signed Tsuyoshi Wada out of the Japanese league to a two year, $8.14 million deal with an option for a third year. Unfortunately for the Orioles they have not yet seen him pitch at the big league level due to injury and ineffectiveness in the minor leagues.
Wada underwent Tommy John surgery in may of 2012, making only one appearance for Norfolk in 2012 prior to the injury, and when he finally came back this season, he spent the entire year with the Tides as he was working to get his mechanics back and struggled at times.
The Orioles never called him up because it would be unfair to him, and the team, to get called up in the middle of a playoff race, so Baltimore just let him continue to pitch in the minors.
Now the Birds have a decision to make on whether or not to pick up his $5 million option for 2014.
Wada made 19 starts for the AAA Norfolk Tides this season going 5-6 with a 4.03 ERA in 102 2/3 innings pitched. He allowed nine home runs, 35 walks and he struck out 80 batters this season.
In his nine seasons in the Japanese leagues, he had a career 3.13 ERA with a 107-61 record and he also pitched for Japan in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics as well as the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Baltimore has already wasted $8.14 million on Wada with absolutely nothing to show for it, thus we find it nearly impossible that the Orioles would pick up his option. Now that doesn't mean they wouldn't try to resign him though as they are familiar with him and he could still end up being a solid pitcher, but it wouldn't be for the $5 million his option is worth, plus they would like to build minor league options in the contract as well in order to avoid having to keep him on the active MLB roster.
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