Among the various reasons the Los Angeles Dodgers have been in headlines over recent weeks, one of the more peculiar reports had them closing in on a deal with Chin-hui Tsao. The right-hander pitched for the Dodgers in 2007 and hasn’t taken the mound professionally since 2009.
Tsao was banned by the Chinese Professional Baseball League under allegations that he was involved in fixing games. In November 2014, Tsao signed with an Australian team, but never played as the CPBL pressured the Australian League into honoring the ban.
Following Jimmy Rollins’ press conference, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi spoke with members of the media and one of the topics that arose was the Dodgers’ pursuit of Tsao and his past.
“We consulted Major League Baseball on it and we were cleared to pursue him,” Zaidi said. “There were several teams involved in potentially signing him and we were one of those several teams.”
Whereas there was pressure placed on the Australian team to not sign Tsao, the Dodgers haven’t faced a similar situation.”We have not heard from Taiwanese baseball,” Zaidi said when questioned if the Dodgers received any complaints. “We’ve had communication with them about their investigation just like we’ve communicated to Major League Baseball about their investigation.”
Tsao may present an intriguing option for the Dodgers, but how much an impact he’ll make next season appears to be minimal. With his expected contract a Minor League deal, Zaidi spoke of minimal risk involved for the Dodgers and also said he was uncertain if Tsao would receive an invitation to Spring Training.
In his lone season with the Dodgers, Tsao appeared in 21 games and had 16 strikeouts with a 4.38 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched.
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