Nationals “have expressed interest” in Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada

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Yu Darvish is naturally getting all the attention when it comes to Japanese pitchers possibly coming to America, but Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals “have expressed interest in” Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who went 16-5 with a 1.51 ERA this season.

Anyone who puts up numbers like that is worth taking a look at, but in this case Ladson writes that Wada “is often compared to Jamie Moyer” and Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker describes his fastball as topping out in the high-80s along with good off-speed stuff.

That lack of velocity makes it tough to get too excited about the 30-year-old southpaw’s excellent numbers in Japan, but Wada is still an intriguing option because, unlike Darvish, he’s eligible for free agency and won’t require a bidding war for his negotiating rights.

Report: Athletics to acquire Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Athletics and Cardinals have agreed on a trade involving outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals will receive two as yet unknown minor leaguers in return.

Piscotty, 26, hit .235/.342/.367 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 401 plate appearances for the Cardinals this past season. He dealt with injuries and with his mother’s ALS diagnosis, so it was a rough year, but very excusably so. The Cardinals had signed him to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension in March. He’s under contract through 2022 at a total of $29.5 million and has a club option for 2023 worth $15 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Cardinals had an outfield spot open up after agreeing to acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday so the Piscotty trade doesn’t come as a surprise.