Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed today that the club won't attempt to re-sign free-agent pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada after declining to pick up his $5 million option for 2014.
Wada, 32, never pitched for the Orioles after signing a two-year, $8.15 million contract on Dec. 14, 2011. He was injured in spring training, made one start with Triple-A Norfolk - allowing six runs in 2 2/3 innings - and underwent ligament-reconstructive surgery on his left elbow on May 11, 2012.
Wada went 5-6 with a 4.03 ERA in 19 starts with Norfolk this year, allowing 112 hits, walking 35 and striking out 80 in 102 2/3 innings. He showed marked improvement as the season wore on, permitting two runs or fewer in six of his last seven outings.
The Orioles chose not to recall Wada as rosters expanded in September, mostly because they didn't want to experiment with him while in a pennant race.
Duquette had indicated that the Orioles would attempt to re-sign Wada at a reduced rate, perhaps hoping that he'd accept a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, but it's not going to happen. Apparently, the Orioles didn't attempt to negotiate with him.
"I think that the Wada chapter is over with the Orioles," Duquette said. "We're just going in another direction."
Wada was 107-61 with a 3.13 ERA and 1,329 strikeouts in 210 career games (207 starts) over nine seasons with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. In his last 52 starts, he went 33-13 with a 2.29 ERA. In his final year, he was 16-5 with a 1.51 ERA and four complete games.
The Orioles never got to see Wada in peak form.
"That was disappointing," Duquette said. "I'm sorry that it didn't work out, but it's time to move on."
Note: The Orioles are on the verge of naming Scott Beerer as their new minor league outfield/baserunning instructor. Beerer spent 2013 as an extra coach at short-season Single-A Aberdeen.
The position likely will be expanded to include Beerer as a strength and conditioning coach.
Beerer went to spring training with the Orioles in 2012, but he suffered a broken hamate bone and underwent surgery on May 4. He later developed arthritis in the hand and never made it to the majors. He appeared in only 18 games with the Tides.
Al Bumbry served as the Orioles' outfield/baserunning instructor in 2013.