Taiwanese shortstop and outfielder Tzu-Wei Lin has signed with the Red Sox and the deal is close to being official, according to Peter Abraham at the Boston Globe and a couple Taiwanese news sources.
Also, according to NextMedia in Taiwan, Lin apparently left on an 11 PM flight (no idea on what time zone) to Boston to finalize the deal and the signing bonus is $2,090,000. It is the biggest bonus ever for a non-pitcher out of Asia. Obviously the deal isn’t official yet, and it’s still unclear if he’s completed the physical yet. But all signs point to the deal being done very soon.
Lin was selected IBAF World Big League Championship held in Seoul, South Korea. The Yankees attempted to sign him a few years back, but they failed to as he was only 16 at the time and not allowed to sign yet.
Here is a scouting report, from Taiwan Baseball.
*Defense/Arm Strength: 60/65 – true MLB SS with plus defensive skill set and great range, also has the ability to play CF – was voted best defensive player at the 2010 World Junior Championships. As a pitcher in HS, was clocked at a high of 89 mph.
*Speed: 70/70 – lightning fast (top time to 1st base: 3.79 seconds), has shown the ability to get good reads and jump on pitchers, aggressive on the base paths, plus instincts with base running.
*Hitting/Approach: 35/65 – utilizes a quick and compact swing, has tremendous hand/eye coordination, squares up on balls and makes hard contact consistently – utilizing all parts of the field, rarely strikes out with good patience and pitch recognition, strong wrists, has a high OBP.
*Power: 30/35 – below average at this time, has gap to gap power.
*Intangibles: Profiles as a leadoff hitter, is fundamentally sound, has risen to the challenge during big games – performing well against top competition in major international contests, is mentally tough, demonstrating leadership skills, plus athleticism and overall skill set has some comparing him to a younger and shorter version of Jose Reyes.