One wonders if the Orioles may have found the new Koji Uehara when they signed Tsuyoshi Wada to a two-year, $8.15 million contract in December.
Uehara was signed as a starter, only to end up in the bullpen late due to durability concerns. Wada could follow the same path after being shut down indefinitely Sunday because of elbow discomfort.
While X-rays were negative, Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the Baltimore Sun that Wada had fluid drained from the elbow to help with the swelling and also received a cortisone injection.
The 31-year-old Wada was expected to compete for a spot in the Baltimore rotation, but many had already penciled him into the pen because he has some history in relief. The current plan is for him to take three days off and then be reevaulated.
“As for me and how I feel, I feel like I could throw [Monday],” Wada said. “But we’ll see what happens.”
The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.
Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.
Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.
This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.