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Free Agent Stock Watch: Wei-Yin Chen

Southpaw Wei-Yin Chen belongs somewhere in our top 50 free agents list, perhaps in the 20s.  Chen will likely be coming to MLB from Japan's Chunichi Dragons as a 26-year-old free agent.  The Taiwanese lefty was a foreign player in Nippon Professional Baseball, and his agents at Octagon negotiated free agency into his contract.

Chen's arm may be fresher than many hurlers coming over from Japan, given his age and the fact that his innings were limited by Tommy John surgery several years ago.  On the other hand, he's not lighting up radar guns as he once did, and his strikeout rate dipped to 5.1 per nine innings in 164 2/3 frames this year.  Chen did manage a 2.68 ERA, keeping his walks and home runs allowed down.

Chen is expected to come to MLB if he's offered a rotation job.  I don't expect the price to be exorbitant -- perhaps a four-year deal worth less than $20MM would get it done.  Interest should be strong in a market light on reasonably-priced starting pitchers with upside.








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