Two offseasons ago Tsuyoshi Wada left Japan to sign a two-year, $8 million deal with Baltimore, but he underwent Tommy John elbow surgery before ever throwing a pitch for the Orioles.
He hit the free agent market again after having a $5 million team option declined and now Wada has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Cubs.
Wada was considered a potential mid-rotation starter when he came over from Japan, but his post-surgery numbers at Triple-A this year were underwhelming. Still, could be an interesting buy-low flier for Chicago.
The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.
Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.
According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.
The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.