The Orioles reached an agreement with lefty Wei-Yin Chen on a three-year deal worth less than $12MM, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles have since announced the deal, noting that Chen is the first Taiwanese player in team history and the contract includes a club option for 2015.
As a Taiwanese 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." Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette described Chen in a statement: "Chen works off of a 92-94 mile per hour fastball and he uses a hard, slurve-like breaking ball as an out-pitch. He has exceptional command and we like the quality of his pitches to help our team."
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the Orioles were close to a multiyear deal with Chen.