Orioles Sign Wei-Yin Chen

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."

Duquette has gone the international route to supplement his rotation, having already added an NPB starter in December in Tsuyoshi Wada.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the Orioles were close to a multiyear deal with Chen.

48 Responses to Orioles Sign Wei-Yin Chen Leave a Reply

  1. formerdraftpick 4 years ago

    Looks like the Orioles are going Wei! Wei! Wei! all the way home.

  2. good move for the orioles

  3. Bleed_Orange 4 years ago

    Love the move.  Also puts pressure on the under preforming kids.  No more guaranteed rotation spots.  Cream has to rise to the top now or you are going to rot in AAA…. I’m talking to you Tillman!

    • Hahaha! You should yelling more at Matusz, than Tillman

      As for the Chen signing, it sounds pretty good to me, but the O’s need to do more!

    • Hahaha! You should yelling more at Matusz, than Tillman

      As for the Chen signing, it sounds pretty good to me, but the O’s need to do more!

      • Bleed_Orange 4 years ago

        Sign one of Cespedes (sp?) or Solar (sp?) and I think that would be it for the off season.  I would like them to trade Jones to restock the farm but I want a mid season trade to regain some of his value.  And if we trade for Soriano I’ll rip my hair out. 

      • Bleed_Orange 4 years ago

        Sign one of Cespedes (sp?) or Solar (sp?) and I think that would be it for the off season.  I would like them to trade Jones to restock the farm but I want a mid season trade to regain some of his value.  And if we trade for Soriano I’ll rip my hair out. 

      • The_Porcupine 4 years ago

        Matusz had 1 bad year, give him another year before lumping him in with Tillman.  Hopefully this year he will come to camp in better shape.

      • Guest 4 years ago

        you need to yell at all of em’

  4. BirdmanRob 4 years ago

    Nice under the radar move by the birds….

  5. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    nice signing. 

  6. another low risk but potentially high reward signing by the orioles. DD is doing a nice job of creating a competition in spring training which may push players to perform better. I think this will help out the young starters. Many orioles fans dont like what DD is doing so far but they just gotta realize that this will take time and that he is doing all he can to create depth on a team that never had any depth. he is giving the team a lot more options than they have had in the past. DD will turn baltimore around in a few years and make them a competitive team again. also bundy joining the rotation in a few years will help out too. this ballclub is slowly improving this offseason even though many fans dont believe so.

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      I like what the orioles are doing but they need to improve a lot more than pitching and bench depth. I look forward to seeing what duke does next. I hope it is a princley move.

      • i agree. i believe DD will surprise people with at least one big move this offseason. if it happens it will be within the next 2-3 weeks but i do believe a big move is coming eventually

        • Popular_mechanics_for_pitchers 4 years ago

          DD should talk to AA, then phone BC who then three ways BC. AF feels left out

        • Guest 4 years ago

          and the thing is people really don’t get how handcuffed DD is…if people understood that then you would say his moves aren’t too bad

      • Bleed_Orange 4 years ago

        Looks like Prince is waiting for Texas.  But I agree if we can get him at the right price (which might happen) I think it would be either the O’s or Nats where he lands. 

    • The_Porcupine 4 years ago

      I appreciate your level headed optimism.  DD has been on the job about 3-4 months, lets give him some time before casting judgement.  Fact is, the moves he has made have been about getting depth, he’s not trying to get anyone to believe that Antonelli, Miller, etc. are big signings. His goal is to develop more international talent and build depth.  Restock the system with the draft and trades.

    • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

      I don’t like this “DD” nonsense. I get confused between Duquette and Dombrowski.

  7. bigpat 4 years ago

    So I guess they’ve realized American prospects never seem to pan out for them, looking for a new market inefficiency? 

  8. Jon Glorioso 4 years ago

    Sign Prince.

  9. danistheguy 4 years ago

    3/$12 is a steal.

  10. danistheguy 4 years ago

    3/$12 is a steal.

  11. Hoosier_Oriole 4 years ago

    Good move, reasonable contract. Low risk, high reward. 

    Go O’s!

  12. I’m so happy that we got him. He could be the real deal. If not, we didn’t trade anyone, so who cares? Spend that Angelos cash!
    I think I’m turning Japanese.

  13. noah perry 4 years ago

    wow they got win chen loser and ty my shoes wade

  14. FamousGrouse 4 years ago

    Is Wei-Yin  pronounced like “Win”? 
    Or is it pronounced like “weigh in” before a boxing match?
    If its “Win” that should make for some decent ballpark chants.

  15. Good move for the Os the Orioles can hit with a better staff they can win some games folks in Baltimore don’t expect to win the AL east right now just try to play 500 ball so its worth buying a ticket….

  16. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    Obviously Japanese signings are always risky, but looking at the two guys DD has added they look solid. I like these kind of moves for the Orioles. No point in going out and wasting big money right now. Give the kids another year or so to see what they got.

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      Gotta spend money to make money.  The more inventory your team has, the more it has to build on.  A team like Houston, they shouldn’t be spending anything.  Orioles at least have some pieces in place, whether fans or opponents want to admit it. 

      • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

        I agree it just has to be the right spending. I think cheap low risk pitchers are a good move now because the Orioles got several young pitchers they got to give innings. They need to see what they got in guys like Matusz, Tillman, Britton. I would spend big on Prince for the below reasons. So I guess I should have clarified my post, no use in spending big on expensive pitchers at this moment. Those one year deal guys are nice but the young core pitchers they got need those innings.

  17. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    Here is my break down of the Orioles future if they could sign Prince. Just my opinion. They got a solid lineup that could get a lot better if Prince were to sign there. I think Weiters is going to continue to take steps forward, and they got solid pieces in Hardy, Markakis and Jones all until 2014 at least. Plus this year you got some other guys that could help, a healthy Brian Roberts, Ryan Adams, Riemold, Davis, and Reynolds (FA after season though). They all have ? (Roberts health ect.) marks but nice upside to. If I were Angelo’s I would spend some money and get him. Here is why. Reason 1: If there is in fact an opt out clause to be included they are likely to get a few really good years out of him and be able to be rid of him that third or fourth year by the deadline as long as he was clearly going to use it, they could get a nice prospect or two (depending on exact language in the clause, year its active ect.) Reason 2: He is young, and the caliber bat that will be an absolute requirement to EVER compete in the AL East. Even if he is not on some opt out deal I think he has as much chance of living up to contract as anybody and the DH spot will always be there. Also its going to be a while before another bat like his is available on the FA market and by then he could be a discount on those prices. The rotation and pen would then be the most glaring question mark. If DD shakes out one solid contributor to the rotation out of his Japanese signings and Britton takes a step forward they got some nice 4 starter types to fill in the rest. That is assuming Matusz or Tillman don’t make progress. If they do all the better. Then after that they could go out and upgrade the pen and rotation a bit next year in FA. Lastly they also have some nice prospects still coming through. Machado ect. who could further enhance the core. Thats some possibilities for if they sign Prince. If I was an Orioles fan that doesn’t sound half bad to me. They got money I think Prince could be a good use of it, coupled with a commitment to upgrade pitching and let the youngsters get innings I think they could turn this thing around with a little luck. Just my opinion though. 

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      Interesting take but I don’t feel as positive about Ryan Adams and Davis as you do.  I think Adams may pan out, but Davis is a utility player at best.  By 2014, we should be hoping at least one of: Machado, Schoop, Givens, Hoes, Avery, Mahoney, Townsend, or Glynn Davis has made some sort of impact or is ready to.  

      With that said, I agree with most of your other points, but a lot of it relies on players “taking a step forward.”   The organization has to take a step forward and do better in the free agent market.  Part of doing better is, as you said, opening up the O’s wallet and start spending money instead of overpaying for Relief Pitching and looking for stupid bargains at every other position (Atkins, Payton, etc). 

  18. BeisbolJunkie 4 years ago

    Is dude’s name
    Wei-Yin or Wei-Ying?
    It’s spelled both ways on this

  19. pogodog 4 years ago

    Now the rest of the AL East are shaking in their shoes about playing the Orioles.

  20. absolutely nothen

    Bruce Chen is from China
    Wei Yin Chen From Taiwan
    Where is Taiwan, Check Chien Ming Wang Out the Nats
    Or simply ask Robinson Cano!

  21. absolutely nothen

    Bruce Chen is from China
    Wei Yin Chen From Taiwan
    Where is Taiwan, Check Chien Ming Wang Out the Nats
    Or simply ask Robinson Cano!

  22. bobbylu 4 years ago

    They are just like how Carlos Lee relates to Derrek Lee

  23. Shikikazu 4 years ago

    Bruce Chen is not from China he is from Panama

  24. not_brooks 4 years ago

    He’s technically “from” both.

    He’s of Chinese descent, but was born and raised in Panama.

  25. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    And Cliff too!

  26. BeisbolJunkie 4 years ago

    Don’t forget about those awesome McCutchen brothers

  27. Shikikazu 4 years ago

    That’s not what I meant although I get your point, I was replying to how the Chinese user was distinguishing Bruce Chen from Wei Yin Chen. The last name Chen is one of the 100 original surnames of China and all of their ancestors originally came from China. Lots of Taiwanese are 100% Han Chinese save for some of the aborginal natives, the founder of Taiwan Chiang Kai Shek came from China. Also being Chinese covers over 56 ethnic groups in China not just Han Chinese.

  28. Sign Prince then you can trade an Adam Jones and it won’t hurt at all.

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