Back in June we heard about the Pittsburgh Pirates signing two kids from Taiwan, catcher Chin-De Chang and LHP Wei-Chung Wang. We have learned that Chang signed for 250k and Wang signed for 350k but his contract was voided after he failed his physical. He was diagnosed with a tear to his ulnar collateral ligament and needed Tommy John surgery. The Pirates reportedly were still interested in signing Wei-Chung, although his bonus was to be much smaller but he and his agent declined the offer.
Also, back in February we heard about the Pirates signing RHP Leandro Rodriguez out of the Dominican Prospect League for $80,000. We learned recently that his contract was not approved by Major League Baseball until after the DSL season was over despite the fact the DPL is an age-verified league and also performs their own background checks on players. His contract is now official and he will likely pitch in the DSL next year.
The Pirates are currently awaiting word on whether Yunior Montero will be allowed to pitch for them again. Montero was originally signed in 2009 for $45,000. He had his contract voided after he failed his background check and he was suspended for a year and forced to sit out the 2010 season. The Pirates ended up resigning him last July for $185,000 after he showed tremendous improvements in his velocity, reaching 94 with his fastball. He pitched one game for them in May in the DSL throwing five shutout innings but again MLB made him sit out when they weren’t happy with the results from his background check.
Pitcher Miguel Ferreras was added back to the DSL roster following the completion of the 2011 season. He pitched for the DSL Pirates in 2010 and went 1-2 15.07 in 11 games. The 6″5 RHP turns 20 on September 19. Adolfo Flores, an 18 year old pitcher from Nicaragua was signed in May of this year but spent the entire VSL season on the restricted list.