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.