Orioles sign Taiwanese LHP Chen to 3-year contract

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BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles have signed Taiwanese left-hander Wei-yin Chen to a three-year contract, a move they hope will enhance a starting rotation that struggled in 2011.

Chen went 36-30 with a 2.48 ERA in 117 games, including 88 starts, over the last four seasons with the Chunichi Dragons of the Central League of Nippon Professional Baseball. The 26-year-old will become the first Orioles player born in Taiwan.

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's contract includes a club option for 2015.

To clear room on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated outfielder Kyle Hudson for assignment. Hudson went 4 for 29 in 14 games with Baltimore last season.