The Orioles are close to a multiyear deal with Taiwanese lefty Wei-Yin Chen, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. As a foreign player in Nippon Professional Baseball, Chen had free agency negotiated into his contract with the Chunichi Dragons.
Last year in Japan, Chen posted a 2.68 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, and 0.49 HR/9 in 164 2/3 innings. He ranked 19th on Keith Law's top 50 free agents list. Law offered a positive scouting report, concluding that Chen "offers more upside than the typical NPB refugee, both due to age and the chance for the slider to become a consistently plus pitch." Chen, 26, throws relatively hard for a southpaw, as high as 92-94 when he's right according to Law.
New Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has gone the international route to supplement his rotation, having already added an NPB starter in December in Tsuyoshi Wada.