Orioles season on the line vs. the Rays
In recent weeks, Buck Showalter has been questioned by Japanese reporters eager to find out if Tsuyoshi Wada is coming to the Orioles.
In New York, Baltimore and Boston, eager scribes from Tokyo want to know if Wada will ever pitch in Baltimore.
Wada has yet to pitch for the Orioles, and he has only a week more before his two-year, $8.15 million contract expires. Last year was lost due to Tommy John surgery, and after a slow start at Norfolk due to rehab, the Orioles were reluctant to put him on the roster, even when they expanded three weeks ago.
After Friday night’s 18-inning game, the Orioles added Mike Belfiore and Zach Britton, but didn’t put a call in for Wada, leaving him as the only non-injured pitcher on the 40-man roster not with the team. The Orioles don’t believe Wada can help in the bullpen, and they don’t want to start him while they’re in contention.
Earlier this week in Boston when it looked dicey that Miguel Gonzalez would make Saturday’s start, Showalter implied that Wada and Britton could be contenders to start instead.
If the Orioles are eliminated from playoff consideration next week, there’s a chance that Wada could make a token start.
He’s thought to want to remain in the U.S. to show that he can be a major league pitcher, and it’s not inconceivable the Orioles could sign him to a team-friendly, minor league deal if Wada is willing.
It’s hard to see other teams offering Wada a major league deal, but the Orioles might like Wada to actually appear in a game in their uniform before making a decision on him.