The Chicago Cubs have signed Taiwanese right-handed pitcher Tseng Jen-ho, and his contract comes with a US$1.625 million bonus, a report on the Cubs’ Web site said on Friday.
The Cubs have been busy on the international market this year and have completed a deal with top Taiwanese prospect Tseng, the report said, citing an industry source.
Tseng, ranked No. 29 on MLB.com’s list of Top 30 International Prospects, commanded a bonus of US$1.625 million. The Cubs have yet to officially announce the signing, according to the report.
Tseng, 18, is a known commodity in the international baseball world and was being pursued by several teams, including the Twins. The teenager is known for his upright, quick delivery and a fastball that can reach 95mph (152.89kph). Poised, yet aggressive, Tseng also throws a curveball and slider, the report said.
Despite his youth, Tseng has a history on the big stage. A member of last year’s World Junior Championship team, Tseng also played in last year’s Asian Baseball Championship. He was the youngest player on Taiwan’s World Baseball Classic roster earlier this year.
If the report is confirmed, his bonus will be the fourth-highest for a Taiwanese player in the US, lower only than that of Taiwanese righthander Tsao Chin-hui, who signed with the Rockies for US$2.2 million in 1999; Lin Tzu-wei, who signed a deal worth US$2.09 million with the Red Sox; and Wang Chien-ming, who had a US$2.01 million contract with the New York Yankees.
Tseng graduated from San Min Senior High School in Greater Kaohsiung last month. He had a fastball that could reach 150kph during his high school days.