A poster at MLBTR, writing from Taiwan, reports that the Royals have apparently signed pitcher Chin-Hui Tsao (also spelled Tzao). If true, this is a significant pick-up for the Royals. Tsao already has a fair amount of major league experience with Colorodo and the Dodgers. He was a well thought-of prospect for years. Here is his cube.
I could not find any confirmation of this signing, much less details. Maybe on Monday more news will be available?
Some basic information. Tsao is Taiwanese, and never played in Japan, so apparently the Trey Hillman factor is not related to this alleged signing. Tsao will be 27 years old. He is a right handed pitcher. 6'2, 190 lbs. A starter in the minors, but 42 of his 50 major league appearances were in relief. Tsao was non-tendered by the Dodgers in November and refused a minor league assignment, thus became a free agent. This means he can be controled by the Royals for at least three years through arbitration, but he has no remaining options. Tsao went on the DL last July with a "sholder injury," (although no surgery I think) and did not return to action.
Minor League Career - 376.2 innings, 317 hits, 2.75 ERA, 94/440 BB/K, 1.09 Whip. (Wow!)
Major League Career
2003 - Colorado - 43.1 innings, 48 hits, 6.02 ERA, 20/29 BB/K. 11 HRs given up.
2004 - Colorado - 9.1 innings, 7 hits, 3.86 ERA, 1/11 BB/K, 2 HRs.
2005 - Colorado - 11.0 innings, 16 hits, 6.55 ERA, 5/4 BB/K, 3 HRs.
2006 - Did not pitch. Injured?
2007 - Dodgers - 24.2 innings, 18 hits, 4.38 ERA, 8/16 BB/K, 3 HRs.
Some impressions - He gives up a LOT of homeruns. On the positive side, looks stingy on the baserunners.
If this man was really signed by the Royals it might have been a minor league "make-good in spring training" deal. He certainly looks like one more good arm for the organization. Someone who very well might be a contributor for several years. Below is a picture of his delivery. It appears to be pretty conventional so he is probably not one of those "deceptive motion" flash in the pan type relievers that seem to be coming into the MLB from Asia lately.
Can anyone else fill in more about Tsao? Or confirm if he is in fact a Royal?