Notes on Wada, report dates and Roberts

I just arrived home from the OriolesREACH holiday party and am trying to get caught up on all the breaking news while also passing along a few notes from my morning excursion to the Arundel Mills Mall.

(Surviving a trip to that mall is noteworthy in itself, but I’ve got more.)

The Orioles have reached agreement with Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, according to several sources, though no announcement has been made by the club. Multiple reports say the deal is for two years and $8.15 million, and The Sun includes mention of a $5 million option.

The Sun also reports that the Orioles are actively pursuing Taiwanese lefty Chen Wei-Yin in a further effort to build up much-needed pitching depth.

All this talk from executive vice president Dan Duquette about being more aggressive in the international market wasn’t just lip service.

Excellent reporting by my friend, Dan Connolly. And I appreciate how he’s tanked it in our NFL pool this year.

Also, pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 18. Position players report Feb. 23, with the first full-squad workout being held the following day.

Plan accordingly.

Second baseman Brian Roberts attended today’s holiday party and handed out gifts to the kids. He hoped to keep the focus on the festivities, but naturally, the few reporters in attendance wanted him to provide a health update.

Roberts was pretty vague, never offering specifics about how he felt. He isn’t hitting, but he said he never starts swinging a bat this early. Asked if he’d be ready to play if spring training started today, Roberts chuckled and said he never would have been ready Dec. 13 in previous years.

“I’m feeling OK, I’m feeling fine,” he said. “Just taking it day by day. One day at a time.”

Roberts told a reporter from Sun Magazine earlier this offseason that he hadn’t experienced any headaches in two weeks. Reminded of his optimism back then, Roberts said, “I’m taking it one day at a time. Seriously, I’m not just saying that. That’s just where my life is right now. I feel like that’s the best way to handle it. I can’t look three months from now and I can’t look three months back. I can take today and I can take this week and I’m very focused on what I’m trying to accomplish and what I’m doing. It’s really all I can look at at this point.”

Asked what his workout routine is like, Roberts said, “I’m just day by day, try to do a little bit more. At this point, I’m just taking it slow and trying to get better every day.”

The Orioles continue to prepare for the 2012 season as if Roberts won’t be available. I didn’t come out of today’s interview encouraged by his progress, but I’m mostly reading between the lines.

There’s no way to know how he’ll feel by the time position players report to Ed Smith Stadium. That’s why the Orioles aren’t taking any chances.

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