The Baltimore Orioles have reportedly agreed to sign free agent pitcher Wei-Yin Chen to a three year contract for $12 million pending a physical. Chen has been a member of the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese League since 2008. The 26 year old lefthander started 24 games for the Dragons in 2011. He recorded just eigth wins but did pitch to a 2.68 ERA. Chen allowed just 9 home runs in 164.2 innings.
Chen, who was born in Taiwan, joins Tsuyoshi Was as the second Japanese League free agent signed by new Orioles GM Dan Duquette this offseason. The two lefthanders will battle for a spot in the Orioles rotation in Spring Training. Baltimore finished dead last in the Major Leagues in team ERA last season. Chen and Wada may struggle to adjust to life in the AL East but they should at least create some competition for the Orioles collection of once-promising young pitchers.