Remember Tsuyoshi Wada? The Japanese left-hander signed a two-year, $8.15 million free agent contract with the Orioles last winter but developed elbow discomfort shortly after arriving at spring training and wound up needing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery in early April.
He is recovering nicely, sources told MASN’s Roch Kubatko down at the Winter Meetings, and expects to be in the running for a rotation spot when spring training gets underway about three months from now.
Wada registered a dominant 1.51 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 168/40 K/BB ratio across 184 2/3 innings (26 starts) in 2011 for the Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League. He turns 32 years old on February 21.
If Wada can’t crack the rotation, he could be used as a long man in the Baltimore bullpen.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.