Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette wouldn’t confirm tonight that the Orioles have reached agreement with Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada on a two-year contract. He only spoke in general terms about the Orioles wanting to “add to our pitching staff.”
“That’s what I’ve been talking about all along,” he said. “We also want to be active in all of the markets - in all the international markets as well as the domestic markets.”
Wada reportedly has agreed to a two-year deal worth $8.15 million that also includes an option for 2014.
I asked Duquette twice about the Orioles’ reported interest in Taiwanese left-hander Chen Wei-Yin.
“I don’t know too much about him,” Duquette replied.
The Orioles failed to sign Korean pitcher Chong Tae-Hyon, who turned down their offer after flying to Baltimore and taking a physical.
“His wife was more comfortable in Korea,” Duquette said. “He had a clear opportunity to come to the states.”
Duquette wouldn’t give specifics on the results of Chong’s physical and whether there were concerns about the reliever’s health, but the Orioles apparently kept their offer on the table.
“He had an opportunity to sign with us,” Duquette said, “so we were interested in signing him.”
Duquette confirmed that he’s open to re-signing outfielder Luke Scott, who was non-tendered last night. The Orioles didn’t want to risk going to arbitration with Scott, who made $6.4 million last season and underwent surgery on his right shoulder.
“Luke had some good years with the club and we appreciate and respect his contributions to the organization,” Duquette said.
The Orioles tendered a contract to pitcher Brad Bergesen rather than letting him become a free agent.
“I’ve got to tell you, I like Brad Bergesen,” Duquette said. “I like what I’ve read and I like what I’ve seen. I have hopes that Bergy can make a significant contribution to our ballclub. I like a lot of things about him and I think he can have a good year for us.”
The Orioles must decide whether Bergesen fits as a starter or reliever, and his role could be determined in spring training.
Duquette offered a vote of confidence while also issuing a challenge to Bergesen, who went 2-7 with a 5.70 ERA in 34 games, including 12 starts.
“I think he has potential as a starter,” Duquette said. “It depends on him taking charge of his career and coming into spring training and having a big year. He has the ability to be a quality starter in the big leagues. To me, its really up to him. If he wants to seize control of career, he has the opportunity. We need pitching. We need starting pitching.
“I believe in this kid. I think he can be a good major league pitcher. It’s time for him to stand up and do it. Where else will he find a better opportunity than here?”