Orioles to sign Chen Wei-Yin


According to Foxsports.com’s senior baseball writer (and former Baltimore Sun columnist) Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles are on the verge of signing Taiwanese southpaw Chen Wei-Yin. The deal is pending a physical, and is reported to be for three years for an undisclosed amount. Chen would come to the Orioles with a fastball, slider, and a changeup, however for all we know by the time the season starts he might even have a wicked splittah. Chen is 26 years old, and was 8-10 with an ERA of 2.68 this past year with the Chunichi Dragons of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan (24 starts).

Based upon some of the things I see on message boards, blogs, etc, this is the kind of move that’s probably going to be criticized by people simply because it’s not signing Prince Fielder. My personal stance is that guys such as Chen and Tsuyioshi Wada are necessary components on this team. One glaring hole of late has been pitching. A criticism of the Orioles has also been that they’ve had little to no presence in international markets. This kind of signing fixes both problems.

Obviously this means that the Orioles are suddenly finding out that they have more pitchers than they know what to do with. As I said last week, I’m not sure that Dan Duquette isn’t quietly trying to re-work the pitching rotation. I think that Jeremy Guthrie, Jake Arrieta, and Zach Britton are given (just an opinion). That leaves two slots for the likes of Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Brad Bergesen, Wada, and now Chen. Guthrie of course is also the constant subject of trade rumors, so who knows where he’ll wind up. If the Orioles do in fact sign Edwin Jackson at some point, you can also write his name into that lineup in ink.

If nothing else, these types of signings give the Orioles depth in the rotation/bullpen. Again, before people jump all over it, consider how many games were lost in later innings last season. Having guys with low ERA’s that can throw strikes would be an upgrade. If nothing else, it’s worth taking the risk because the alternative is the same as we’ve seen for the past few years.

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