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.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.