Sports Hochi is reporting that a number of MLB scouts were on hand to take in Chunichi Dragons ace Wei-Yin Chen's latest win, a two-hit shutout over Hanshin at Koshien. Among them was Steve Wilson, the Cubs' Director of Asia Pacific scouting, who commented "of course we know Chen, but I can't talk about specific players." A scout from an unnamed AL East team said that if he were available, "about 15 teams would move on him." Chen is in the midst of a dominating season (8-3, 1.45 era, 142.1 ip). I have every intention of doing a full profile of him, I can say that he features a fastball that reaches the mid-90's and a sharp slider.
The new bit of information in this article is that Chen is on a single year contract, and thus eligible to change teams after the season. Chen, 24, signed out of Taiwan in 2004 after small bidding war between Chunichi, Daiei (now SoftBank) and MLB clubs. Since he's a member of the NPB players' union (most foreign players are not), I always thought he was under a standard NPB entry contract. If that's not the case that he'll certainly attract attention this season.