Red Sox Close To Signing Tzu-Wei Lin

The Red Sox are close to signing 18-year-old Taiwanese shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin for $2.05MM, reports Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. The deal is not yet complete but the two sides are in "final stages of an agreement."

Lin reportedly signed with the Yankees for six figures as a 16-year-old back in 2010, but the deal was later ruled invalid. MLB.com ranked Lin as the 18th best international free agent on the market, describing him as a "smaller version of Rays prospect Hak-Ju Lee." The $2.05MM bonus would be a record for a Taiwanese position player.


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37 Comments on "Red Sox Close To Signing Tzu-Wei Lin"


Jonathan Sisk
3 years 1 month ago

birth date 2/15/94, yankees signed him before he graduated high school at 16 which is against the agreement between cpbl and mlb ( also the agreement between kbo and mlb and npb and mlb i’m fairly certain ) … tried to use latin rules in the pacific and it didn’t work out haha

chris_synan1
3 years 1 month ago

Can he Pitch????No, is he the future No, weird move

GoAwayNow
3 years 1 month ago

Signing a talented 18 year old kid to deepen your farm system is weird?

chris_synan1
3 years 1 month ago

weird…when we already have Jose Iglesias…i don’t care about the farm system but this kid won’t get a chance to play in the bigs with Iglesias…. he can turn into pitching if we trade him

fitz
3 years 1 month ago

Are you kidding me?

Ben_Cherington
3 years 1 month ago

Can Iglesias pitch?  Cuz he wont be playing much either with Aviles playing the way he has. 

Anytime you can add depth to your farm system…you do it!

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

I still wish Iglesias was at SS instead of Aviles (who hit well for like three weeks and has since gone back to being a nobody at the plate and he isn’t even on the same planet as Iglesias defensively).

Ben_Cherington
3 years 1 month ago

Yeah i agree, bu aviles has held his own, his defense is still above avg this yr and has a better bat than iglesias

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Iglesias isn’t going to hit for as much power, but I’m not convinced that he couldn’t get on base more than Aviles even without more seasoning in the minors.  Even if he doesn’t get on base at an enough higher rate to even out the drop in power, he would more than make up for it in defense.

ritz51
3 years 1 month ago

His .634 AAA OPS doesn’t play at SS. Even Alcides Escobar with his anemic offense managed a .762 in his last season at AAA, and he was a year younger. Aviles’ bat is well above average at SS and his defense is adequate, there’s no reason to rush Iglesias, especially when he’s shown nothing against AAA pitching.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Aviles’ bat has been 20% below average this year (and 2% below average for SS’s), and Escobar was 23 in AAA – Iglesias just turned 22.

If Iglesias could reproduce his current AAA line in the majors he would be far more valuable than Aviles (and while I’m not going to suggest that he actually could reproduce that line, he could lose 40 points off of his OBP and it would still be as high as Aviles’).

ritz51
3 years 1 month ago

I’d much prefer Aviles’ pop to Iglesias’ hypothetical-on base skills. So Aviles’ bat is below average in comparison to the entire league, yet 2% is a marginal difference in comparison to fellow SS. 

As you said, at this point there’s no way he replicates even his pedestrian AAA numbers at the major league level and we have no idea how much he would regress. For a guy who hasn’t shown much in Pawtuckett, I think a .40 drop in OBP is probably on the conservative side. He’s simply not a major league hitter at this time and he’s going to have to really improve to change that.  

I will concede that Iglesias has shown far better plate discipline at AAA and that’s always an encouraging sign, but still, this is a guy who has a total of five XBH so far in his second stint at AAA. If Aviles was struggling I could see your reasoning, but so far he’s been worth 2.1 WAR according to bREF. 

As for the Escobar comparison, that was probably off base, I was trying to think of a guy who makes up for his sub-replacement bat with his glove and he was the one who popped in my mind.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Aviles has been struggling though, and really, really badly.

He started off hot (.865 OPS – .372 wOBA in April), but he has been absolutely horrendous since then, and trending downward: .639 OPS – .271 wOBA in May (22% worse than the average SS) and .500 OPS – .226 wOBA so far in June (53%!! worse than the average SS).

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

 There was a line somewhere printed where Aviles was swinging at around 41% of the pitches outside of the K zone.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Also, for what minor league equivalencies are worth, his suggests that his OBP would drop 38 points (which would make it exactly the same as Aviles’), so 40 points really isn’t a conservative estimate.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

I’m going to post this up here because the boxes are getting small down further.

Using Iglesias’ minor league equivalencies his wOBA works out to .262 (compared to Aviles’ .300) which, when converted to wRAA works out to 11.8 runs below average, compared to Aviles’ 2.9 runs below average.  So the real question becomes, is Iglesias 8.9 runs better with the glove than Aviles?  Based on the general perception of the two (Aviles being average-at-best with the glove and Iglesias having once-in-a-generation talent with the glove) it would be an easy yes, but Aviles has been pretty good defensively this year according to UZR (6.7), and whether that’s a small sample size fluke (highly likely given the nature of UZR) or not, that is what is being used to calculate his WAR so far this year, so the question is, would Iglesias have a 15.6 UZR at this point this year?

The UZR leader at SS so far this year is Brendan Ryan with 10.4, and while he’s a very good defender, he isn’t on Iglesias’ level, so I don’t think a 15ish UZR at this point would be out of the question for Iglesias.

And as I said, Aviles has been really, really bad, and getting worse, so the longer that continues the more the gap between their two wRAA’s closes, and the less the gap between their UZRs will have to be.

(I use FanGraphs WAR by the way – in case you couldn’t tell)

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 1 month ago

“i don’t care about the farm system”

Dan Duquette? Is that you?

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Up the middle players (C, 2B, SS, CF) are always the most in demand, and the hardest to find and develop, so any time you add a potentially above average one it’s a good idea.  Even if Iglesias starts to hit, or Vinicio reaches his huge potential, or Marrero signs and make the majors, this kid would still have huge value in a trade.  There’s also a chance that he can move to CF if he reaches his potential and is blocked.

Seriously, adding a potentially above average SS always makes sense.

grant77
3 years 1 month ago

Does this count towards the new international signing cap?

Jonathan Sisk
3 years 1 month ago

no that doesn’t start until july

TheHitman23
3 years 1 month ago

Linsanity in Boston?

3 years 1 month ago

Classic lazy race-fueled player comps bum me out. We don’t get to hear anything about this guy aside from “he’s similar to another Asian minor league infielder”

Holidayjesus
3 years 1 month ago


The Yankees signed Tzu-Wei Lin, a 16-year-old shortstop from Taiwan, for a six-figure bonus. However, Lin may be looking to void the contract and take more money from the Twins or A’s. Lin, who stands 5’7”, has good speed and a good arm with an above-average bat.”

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

I hate those too, but this one actually make sense.  He really does profile very similarly to Lee.

Jacob Viets
3 years 1 month ago

The Taiwanese middle infielder is small in stature, but not in skills. He has some offensive ability, but no power to speak of. He runs extremely well and has a strong arm from shortstop. 

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

Now this sign is close to getting official finally.. It was announced in some Taiwanese papers about a week ago as well as on Soxprospects.

He is “supposed” to be a super glove, not that great with the bat and have really good speed,

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

He doesn’t project to have much power, but he actually projects to be a good hitter for average/on base percentage.  At least that’s what I gather from the limited reports available on him at this point.

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

 Thanks. Was trying to remember exactly what it was on his bat and thought it wasn’t that good. Remembered his glove and speed were his biggest assets and what the points brought up at Soxprospects with him compared to Iglesias, Venicio and Marerro as possible replication in that regard.. or at least the glove part.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Yeah, he’s definitely supposed to be a plus fielder with plus speed, but he also projects not to be a black hole offensively.  I don’t remember where I saw it (and I couldn’t post the link even if I could remember [I do remember that it was either a Chinese or Taiwanese website]), but I read somewhere that he profiles as a potential leadoff hitter.

王威評
3 years 1 month ago

this is the scouting report I found on Lin:
*Defense/Arm Strength:   60/65 – true MLB SS
with plus defensive skill set and great range, also has the ability to
play CF – was voted best defensive player at the 2010 World Junior
Championships.   As a pitcher in HS, was clocked at a high of 89 mph.  
*Speed:  70/70
– lightning fast (top time to 1st base:  3.79 seconds), has shown the
ability to get good reads and jump on pitchers, aggressive on the base
paths, plus instincts with base running.
*Hitting/Approach:   35/65
– utilizes a quick and compact swing,  has tremendous hand/eye
coordination, squares up on balls and makes hard contact consistently –
utilizing all parts of the field, rarely strikes out with good patience
and pitch recognition, strong wrists, has a high OBP.

*Power:   30/35 – below average at this time, has gap to gap power.

*Intangibles:   Profiles
as a leadoff hitter, is fundamentally sound, has risen to the challenge
during big games – performing well against top competition in major
international contests, is mentally tough, demonstrating leadership
skills,  plus athleticism and overall skill set has some comparing him
to a younger and shorter version of Jose Reyes.

Wilsonl
3 years 1 month ago

Sorry, but those seem like ratings for a PS3 game.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

That’s his current/projected grades on the 20-80 scale.

Wilsonl
3 years 1 month ago

Ahh sorry; didn’t know.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

No problem.  It’s just a scale scouts use to grade players’ abilities.

Wilsonl
3 years 1 month ago

Another Lin for the Red Sox..

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

 Yep.. It’s a Lin, Lin situation in Boston..

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

 Think it’s some of the words we use and a handy tip:

copy/paste when making a long post so if a long one is censored.. Can look it over for a word that the site does not seem to like and retry it :-)