As expected, the Orioles have declined left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada's $5-million option for next season, the club announced on Saturday evening.
Wada, signed as an international free agent for a two-year, $8.14-million deal before the 2012 season, never threw a pitch in a regular season game for the Orioles.
His Orioles career was riddled by injury. He began his first major league season on the disabled list, then had season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in May 2012.
Wada, 32, returned from the surgery in June and was then optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, where he struggled to find consistency until the Orioles decided to give him an extra day of rest between starts. It was then when Wada began showing some of the promise the Orioles saw when they signed him out of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League.
Wada finished his season with six shutout innings on regular rest in his final start for Norfolk and pitched to a 1.43 ERA with 29 strikeouts and nine walks over his last six starts for the Tides, but he wasn’t called up in September when major league rosters expanded.
Still, the Orioles saw enough from Wada that they would be interested in signing him to a minor league deal to keep him in the system.
Because Wada was signed as an international free agent out of Japan, he is no longer under team control now that his option has been declined.
The Orioles have yet to make a decision on second baseman Alexi Casilla’s $3-million option, but it is expected to be declined on Monday. Casilla would receive a $200,000 buyout if that option declined.