Orioles left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada agrees to be sent to minors

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Tsuyoshi Wada hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Orioles since signing a two-year, $8.15 million contract with the club in December of 2011. And while he is now fully recovered from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, he’s still not ready to join the big club.

After Wada posted a miserable 8.14 ERA and 20/13 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings over six rehab starts with Triple-A Norfolk, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Orioles were able to get his consent to accept a minor league assignment. It’s not unusual for pitchers to struggle with their command and control after Tommy John surgery, so the hope is that the 32-year-old returns to form and becomes an option for the Orioles’ rotation at some point during the second half.

Wada posted a 1.51 ERA in 185 innings in 2011 for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League prior to signing with the Orioles. His contract with Baltimore includes a $5 million option for next season.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.