Could Pirates Pursue Tsuyoshi Wada?
Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated had a tweet about Japanese left hander Tsuyoshi Wada, noting the Pittsburgh Pirates as one of the teams that could call on his services. Heyman pointed out that Wada went 16-5 with a 1.51 ERA last year, and called Wada a “LHP in Jamie Moyer mold”. He listed the Nationals and Rangers as two other teams who could pursue Wada.
I’m guessing this is Heyman matching up team needs, rather than reporting on actual interest from the Pirates. Pittsburgh hasn’t gone after any Japanese free agents under Neal Huntington, although that’s not to say they couldn’t sign a free agent out of Japan in the future. Wada is in a bit of a different situation than most Japanese players. He’s a free agent, so he’s not subject to the posting system. Therefore, teams can just negotiate with Wada, rather than having to bid on the right to negotiate with him.
Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker called the 31 year old left hander a Dallas Braden type, noting that he has an 86-87 MPH fastball, a good circle changeup, and a solid slider. Newman also speculates that it could cost two years and $8 M to land him. There are questions on whether Wada will be a starter or a reliever, with Newman concerned that he might not be able to handle the innings required of a major league starter.