During the Chicago Cubs’ playoff run, they made a roster move to provide a just-in-case catcher in Taylor Teagarden. He wasn’t put on the active roster, but he was added to the 40-man in case a catcher got hurt in the NLDS and the Cubs needed someone for the NLCS. That didn’t happen, and Teagarden was ultimately outrighted yesterday.
I mention that here because the guy whose spot on the 40-man Teagarden took back then was Tsuyoshi Wada, who was designated for assignment. That informally suggested the end of his time with the Cubs, and it’s now more formal, as he is reportedly headed back to Japan to pitch on a multi-year deal.
The Cubs snagged Wada on a minor league deal before the 2014 season, and he wound up being a really nice arm for them in the second half of that season. He was re-signed thereafter for the 2015 season at $4 million, but it was ultimately a disappointing year for Wada. He had a chance to grab a rotation spot earlier in the year, but dealt with a shoulder issue, and then was not sufficiently effective at AAA Iowa the rest of the year to break back in with the big league team in a meaningful way.
Wada was unlikely to find a big league deal in the States after his tough 2015 season, and, although he could have stuck around and tried to win a job again after signing a minor league deal, you can understand why he might decide not to pursue that route again after coming over from stardom in Japan back in 2012, dealing with Tommy John surgery, and then having to fight just to make it to the Major Leagues. At 34, he can still have some successful years pitching in Japan, and I hope he does.