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01/16/2008 6:49 PM ET
Mariners sign 18-year-old Japanese pitcher Kenta Suda
Also add 17-year-old Taiwanese pitcher
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Seattle Mariners Vice President of International Operations Bob Engle announced today that the Seattle Mariners have signed right-handed pitcher Kenta Suda to a Minor League contract.

Suda, 18, was signed as a non-drafted free agent by Mariners scouts Yasushi Yamamoto, Hide Sueyoshi and Pat Kelly.

"Kenta's signing is part of our effort to sign talented players from anywhere we can find them in the world," Engle said. "We think he has a lot of room to improve in an intensive baseball environment. We have signed a few Japanese professional players over the past seven years, but since adding Mr. Yamamoto we have also tried to focus on the amateur players in Japan."

Suda was pitching for the NOMO Baseball Club in Japan in 2007. He pitched in the IBAFAAA (Under 18) Championship games in Taiwan in August of 2007 as a member of the Japanese team.

Prior to joining the NOMO Baseball Club, the six-foot, 172-pound right-hander pitched for Heian High School in Kyoto, Japan.

Suda resides in Osaka, Japan.

Suda is expected to join the Mariners extended Spring Training in April, 2008.

The Mariners also announced today that 17-year-old Yao Wen Chang has been signed to a 2008 Minor League contract by scouts Pat Kelly and Jamey Storvick. The right-handed pitcher from Taichung, Taiwan will also join the club at extended Spring Training.

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