Orioles decline $5 million option on Tsuyoshi Wada

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As first reported by MASN’s Roch Kubatko, the Orioles have officially declined a $5 million option for the 2014 season on left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada. He will be free to sign with any team on November 5.

Wada landed a two-year, $8.15 million contract from the O’s in December 2011, but he underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery before throwing a pitch in a major league game and failed to dig himself out of Triple-A this year despite being in good health.

Wada posted a 1.51 ERA and 168/40 K/BB ratio across 184 2/3 innings in 2011 for Japan’s Softbank Hawks and a 1.43 ERA over his final six starts this year at Norfolk. He’s not going to get much guaranteed money, but the 32-year-old southpaw should generate interest this winter from multiple major league clubs.

53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro homers in independent league ball

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It was announced earlier this month that 53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro signed a contract with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association, joining his son, former minor leaguer Patrick Palmeiro. The four-time All-Star went 0-for-8 to begin his stint with the club before launching a solo homer in the fifth inning last night. Check it out below.

If we’re being technical here, that was his first home run since July 30, 2005. He hit the homer off 28-year-old Trey McNutt, former prospect with the Cubs and Padres. Palmeiro made his major league debut in 1986, three years before McNutt was born.

Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic last December that he was thinking about a comeback, but he understandably didn’t garner any serious consideration from MLB teams. This comeback attempt might not lead anywhere, but hey, he gets to show that he can still mash while hitting in the same lineup with his son. Palmeiro did that once before with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2015, though it was just a one-game thing. As for the Railroaders, the national media attention can only help them.

Palmeiro is one of just six players in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, but he’s been a disgraced figure in the game since a failed drug test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2005. He dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014.