Chen May Return To Taiwan To Play

Chin-Feng Chen, who became the first player from Taiwan ever to appear in the big leagues, is apparently going home to play in 2006.

Chen first played for the Dodgers in 2002 and has been coming up for fleeting appearances every year since but was let go following the 2005 season.

Now, he has allowed his name to be submitted for the annual draft that Taiwanese professional teams hold for local players and is expected to be the first one chosen.

"I'm 28 and in the prime of my career so it's time that I use what I have learned in my professional experience in the United States to help others," said Chen.

He has played seven years in the minors, all in the Dodger system after being signed in 1998.

Before that he was a highly successful member of Taiwan's international team, hitting .425 with 40 home runs and 115 RBI in eight international tournaments.

Breaking in with San Bernardino in 1999, he hit .316-31-129 to be named the Dodger minor league Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

He never quite repeated that success, though he always displayed plenty of power in his career.

This brought him up to L.A., though he played little after arriving each time, appearing in three games in 2002, one in 2003, eight in 2004 and seven in 2005, hitting .250 in his last trial. At Las Vegas he was .278-15-63 in his last stop.

Although he is negotiating a contract in Taiwan, sources there say his agent is still contacting major league teams in the U.S.
It is expected that any contract that he signs in Taiwan will contain the proviso that he can be let go if he signs with a major league club.