Orioles manager Buck Showalter will not confirm that the club has agreed to terms with Japanese lefty Tsuyoshi Wada to a two-year, $8.15 million deal with a $5 million option for 2014.
But, speaking in general terms, Showalter said he supports the idea of going after international talent, something new executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has championed since coming aboard last month.
"I like it. It opens up a lot of doors for us," Showalter told The Sun while attending the club's annual Christmas party for children Tuesday. "One of Dan's strengths is in that [international] market. With his abilities and knowledge in that area, it can create a lot of opportunities for us. You are not giving up players, you are not losing people out of the draft and you are not making any huge financial commitments.
"But the bottom line is: Can they get guys out? Can they pitch?"
Duquette seems willing to find out. He attempted to sign South Korean submariner Chong Tae-Hyon, but the veteran right-hander has decided to stay in Korea.
Besides Wada, the Orioles are seriously interested in left-hander Chen Wei-Yin, a Taiwan native who pitched for the Chunichi Dragons. The club also has scouted two of this year's biggest international prizes, Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish and Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
With the exception of Japanese right-hander Koji Uehara and some current prospects in the minor league system, the Orioles have had little to no success on the international scene in recent years.
"I think Dan wants to get it out there that we are a player in this market," Showalter said.
Here's one other item courtesy of Sun columnist Peter Schmuck, who is at the club's children's Christmas party at Dave & Buster's at Arundel Mills today.
Right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta is in attendance and said he is about a month ahead of schedule in his recuperation from elbow surgery (bone spur removed). He said he is throwing pain-free off flat ground and is in line to be ready for spring training.
Asked whether he has paid attention to rumors that the club could potentially trade veteran starter Jeremy Guthrie, Arrieta said: "I'd hate to lose him."