Rob Biertempfel has a few updates on some international free agents via Twitter:
–He mentions that the Pirates have interest in Yoenis Cespedes, but that they will quickly back away if the bidding gets crazy.
-The Pirates have interest in left handers Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada, according to Biertempfel. This is the second time we’ve heard the team linked to Wada. About a month ago Jon Heyman mentioned the Pirates as one of the teams who could pursue the Japanese left hander. Wada is 31 years old, ad throws in the 86-87 MPH range with a good circle change and a solid slider. He’s been described as a Dallas Braden type, although there are questions as to whether he can be a starter. The expected price for Wada is two years and $8 M.
Chen is a 26 year old free agent out of Taiwan. He’s been playing in the Japanese league, but unlike most players out of Japan, Chen wouldn’t require a posting fee, since he’s a true free agent (Wada is also a free agent, with no posting fee required). He used to reach 95 MPH, but had Tommy John surgery a few years ago and was topping out at 91 this past year. Chen put up a 2.68 ERA in 164.2 innings last year, with a 5.1 K/9, a 1.7 BB/9, and a 0.5 HR/9. Tim Dierkes of MLBTR speculates that he could cost $20 M over four years.
-Japanese free agency began yesterday. Guys like Chen and Wada are now allowed to negotiate with teams.