Pirates Rumored to Be One of Eight Interested in Taiwanese Infielder

According to Taiwan Baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates are one of eight major league teams who have shown serious interest in Taiwanese infielder Tzu-Wei Lin. The site mentions that Lin should receive a seven figure bonus, which would be the highest signing bonus for an amateur non-pitcher out of Taiwan. Other teams that are reportedly interested are the Rangers, Yankees, Indians, Red Sox, Twins, Athletics, and Padres. The Softbank Hawks of the NPB are another interested team.

Lin is a very toolsy player, with the potential for an above-average bat, gap power, an above-average arm, and average defense and range. He’s also a plus runner. He plays shortstop, but might eventually switch to second base or center field.

He will be eligible to sign upon completion of high school. It’s unknown whether that will happen before the international signing period begins on July 2nd. If Lin can sign early, he wouldn’t count against any team’s $2.9 M budget, which only counts toward signings from July 2nd, 2012 to July 1st, 2013.

Lin signed a deal with the Yankees back in August 2010 for $350 K. However, the deal was invalid because Lin never actually signed off on the deal, with his father signing off on the contract instead. Lin was offered upwards of $600 K by other teams, including the Twins and Athletics. All three teams are rumored to be in on him again this year.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_46YTB5OO4O7UM2OVB44UZSTXNA Nate

    Would that make up a bit for missing Sano? (even though it’d be tough to make up for that!)

  • Chih-Wei

    Not the Sano-like guy but rather a lead-off type player with first-round talent.

  • Lee Young

    Altho I would love to have Sano in the system, I am hoping that Josh Bell sorta almost makes up for his loss? There’s NO way he should’ve been there for us.

  • Chih-Wei

    Likely to the Yankees, according to a resource.