06/21/2007 1:00 AM ET
Mariners sign two Chinese players to Minor League contracts
Yu Bing Jia and Wei Wang will report to Seattle's Australian Summer League Team
Seattle Mariners Director of International Operations Bob Engle announced today that the Mariners have signed a pair of Chinese players to minor league contracts.
Yu Bing Jia and Wei Wang are both members of the Chinese National Baseball Team and will report to Seattle's Australian Summer League Team when not fulfilling National Team commitments this summer.
Infielder/outfielder Yu Bing Jia and catcher Wei Wang were in Beijing today for the formal announcement with Mariners Chinese scout Sam Kao.
Both players were members of the Beijing Tigers in the China Baseball League and members of the China National Team.
"We are very excited to enter into this new phase of our relationship with Chinese Baseball," Ted Heid, Mariners Director of Pacific Rim Operation said. "Chinese players are improving rapidly, and we look forward to scouting and developing many more players from China in the future."
Wang, 28, is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound catcher. He's played 10 years of professional baseball in China and has led Beijing to six League Championships. He has been the starting catcher for the Chinese National Team since 2002. Wang hit a two-run homer in the opening game of the 2006 World Baseball Classic versus eventual WBC champion Japan to tie the score at 2-2. He was the first player to homer in the WBC.
Jia, 24, is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound infielder/outfielder. He's been a member of the China National Team since 2003. Jia led the CBL in home runs this season.