Wei-Yin Chen, a 26 year-old left-hander from Taiwan, signed with the Orioles for three years $11 million (club option for a 4th year).
Yu Darvish, a 25 year-old right-hander from Japan. – For the next 6 years he is the property of the Texas Rangers for roughly 112 million (a sum comprised of a record posting bid and a 6-year contract).
With so much attention on Nolan Ryan’s feverish pursuit of Darvish, who could blame anyone for ignoring the arrival of that “other” Asian import here in 2012? Let’s face it, few cared when Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette announced he was signing Chen as part of his international push into the talent-rich Asian baseball market. The story of Chen had far less media appeal than the posting process that turned the Darvish sweepstakes into a Southeby’s-Style auction. Chen’s contract was far more pedestrian than Darvish’s hefty price tag. And let’s be honest, nobody paid much attention to what the Orioles were doing over the winter.
So let’s take a closer look at how these two ROOKIE OF THE YEAR contenders compare as we approach the 3rd month of the season.
Starts: Darvish: 8 Chen: 7
ERA: Darvish: 2.60 Chen: 2.45
Record: Darvish: 6-1 Chen: 4-0
WHIP: Darvish: 1.32 Chen: 1.20
With statistical advantages in nearly all measurable categories, Chen will have an opportunity to make a National statement on Sunday when he and the Orioles take on Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. A victory over Strasburg would most certainly be a “coming out” party of sorts for a guy who has quietly been one of the most effective and consistent pitchers in baseball this year….not to mention, one of the best “values” of the Winter. – www.OriolesNotes.com
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