2 years, $8.15 million, $5 million vesting option for 2014. That’s what Jon Morosi reported as the deal for Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks LHP Tsuyoshi Wada.
I’ve been waiting to write this story because nobody at the Orioles is as of yet willing to confirm whether or not the deal is done, including manager Buck Showalter. I don’t want to go overboard and jump all over this until I’ve seen if officially confirmed. However, as other blogs are starting to pick up the story, I think it’s okay to share my excitement with you.
I HAVE A LOT OF EXCITEMENT OVER THIS, OKAY.
If you were one of those few people who was awake with me as I live-tweeted the Japan Series this past November, you must’ve seen my tweets about Wada. Wada’s pitching is slower than most, sure, but he’s deceptive and nasty. At age 31, he’s at a point where he probably won’t make it through the lineup more than twice, but that’s okay – he could fill in as a spot starter or serve the Orioles in a bullpen capacity. The Orioles really, really need relievers. I can’t describe how badly they need relievers. Having someone who could work as both a starter and a reliever is pretty convenient, don’t you think? I do.
Wada was the 2010 Pacific League MVP, which means that in 2010 he pitched better than Yu Darvish. That’s really the only way to win that award these days. He was also on Japan’s inaugural World Baseball Classic team in 2006, but didn’t play in 2009. That’s okay, though, because he helped lead the Hawks to a Japan Series title this year. If you saw him pitch, you’d have seen that he’s worth watching.
Here, go watch him strike some people out (15 Ks in this game from 2010) and you’ll see what I mean. He’s fun to watch.
By the way, the Orioles are also in on Chunichi Dragons starter Wei-Yin Chen, a Taiwanese pitcher who faced off against Wada in the Japan Series this year. Here’s a little video of him throwing so you can familiarize yourself with him just in case the Orioles get him and I write a lengthy post.