By Matt Snyder
The Orioles have reached a three-year agreement to sign Taiwanese left-handed pitcher Wei-Ying Chen. The deal is for three years and $11.338 million.
Chen gets a $250,000 signing bonus and salaries of $3,072,000 this year, $3,572,000 in 2013 and $4,072,000 in 2014. The Orioles have a $4.75 million option for 2015 with a $372,000 buyout.
He is 26 years old and Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette says Chen has "exceptional command" with a 92 to 94 mph fastball and a hard breaking ball as his "out pitch."
Chen went 8-10 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 94 strikeouts in 164 2/3 innings pitched last season for the Chunichi Dragons. In his career, he's 36-30 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.
Here's a video with Chen in action.
As far as how Chen fits in the Orioles' starting rotation, it's a tough call. The O's have Jeremy Guthrie, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz coming back. They've also signed Tsuyoshi Wada this offseason and there's even been talk of Jim Johnson moving into the rotation. The guess is he doesn't, but it's still awfully crowded in terms of possible starters.
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