Fri, Jan 06, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Ten million dollar man steps up to the plate for the Bears

STAFF WRITER

Former Los Angeles Dodgers pinch-hitter Chen Chin-feng puts on the jersey of the La New Bears during a press conference at the team's headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: WANG YI-SUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Los Angeles Dodgers pinch-hitter Chen Chin-feng (陳金鋒) yesterday agreed to stay home and join the nation's Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) on a multi-year contract with the La New Bears.

Since returning from the US in November, Chen had been considering the choice of returning to the US to continue his career or playing in the CPBL.

On Dec. 26, Chen expressed an interest in joining the CPBL by consenting to participate in the competition's all-rookie draft for this year.

Making good use of its first pick in the draft, the La New Bears has been negotiating with Chen over a contract since Dec. 26.

The team announced yesterday that Chen had signed a three-year contract with the team, the first-ever multi-year contract signing for the nation's baseball league.

Chinese-language newspapers have reported that Chen's contract includes a staggering annual income of up to NT$10 million (US$312,000), the highest sum in CPBL history.

It also includes a comprehensive plan for his career and measures to ensure the safety of his family members from criminal attention.

With the Dodgers, Chen became the first Taiwanese player to reach the US major league.

Chen is also the first Taiwanese baseball player to return home after playing in the US.

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