According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, lefty pitcher Wei-Yin Chen is close to signing with the Baltimore Orioles. Chen had the rights to outright free agency due to his contract with the Chunichi Dragons of the Nippon Professional Baseball League.
Chen, 26, can throw up to 95 miles per hour as a left-handed pitcher. The Orioles have already signed another Japanese pitcher this offseason in Tsuyoshi Wada in December. The Orioles have tasked new general manager Dan Duquette with rebuilding what has been a mediocre at best pitching staff in the past five seasons.
Chen was ranked 19th on ESPN's top 50 free agents list. It said that he shows more upside than a typical player coming out of the NPBL. Currently there is one other coveted Japanese pitcher on the market, Yu Darvish, who is still negotiating with the Texas Rangers and has about eleven days until they determine an agreement cannot be reached and he goes back to Japan.