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Orioles sign Wei-Yin Chen to multi-year deal

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - The Baltimore Orioles have signed pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, a 26-year-old left-hander who spent the last four seasons in Japan playing with the Central League's Chunichi Dragons.

Chen posted a 36-30 record with a 2.48 earned run average with the Dragons since 2008 and set career highs with 13 wins, 27 starts and 153 strikeouts in 2010.

Financial terms of the deal were not released but the Orioles said Chen had been signed to a three-year contract with a club option for 2015.

"I am extremely excited about this opportunity to challenge the Major Leagues and begin the next chapter of my professional baseball career," the Taiwanese-born Chen said Tuesday in a statement.

"I will do my best to help the Orioles to the championship."

Orioles general manager Dan Duquette said Chen's best pitch was a combination of a slider and a curve.

"Chen works off of a 92-94 mile per hour fastball and he uses a hard, slurve-like breaking ball as an out-pitch," said Duquette. "He has exceptional command and we like the quality of his pitches to help our team."

The Orioles, who have not had a winning season since 1997, were 63-99 in 2011.

(Reporting by Steve Ginsburg; Editing by Clare Fallon)