The Uni-President Lions of the Taiwan-based Chinese Professional Baseball League have signed right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx to a contract for the 2019 season. NOWnews reported the signing last week (hat tip to CPBLStats.com) and Bibens-Dirkx confirmed the deal himself on his Instagram page (while also announcing that he and his wife Leah are expecting a baby in June — congratulations to the Bibens-Dirkx family!)
This will be the most far-flung destination yet for Bibens-Dirkx over a 13-year professional career that has seen him pitch for six different MLB organizations, as well as a couple of stints in independent baseball. The 33-year-old spent the last three seasons with the Rangers, which led to his first taste of Major League action. Bibens-Dirkx posted a 5.27 ERA, 5.6 K/9, and 2.09 K/BB rate over 114 1/3 innings for Texas in 2017-18, starting 12 of his 37 games played.
Bibens-Dirkx underwent knee surgery at the end of last season, though it doesn’t appear to have been too major a setback. (His Instagram page also has multiple posts chronicling Bibens-Dirkx’s offseason throwing sessions.) The Rangers outrighted Bibens-Dirkx off their 40-man roster in November and he elected to become a free agent.