Orioles close to announcing deal with Chong Tae-Hyon

I’ve got one final item on the Orioles before shutting down for the night.

The Orioles are on the verge of reaching an agreement with Korean pitcher Chong Tae-Hyon. This has seemed to be a foregone conclusion since earlier today, but they haven’t hit any snags and the process continues to move forward.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette said the Orioles are still working on “a potential agreement to acquire Chong,” but it’s close enough that you can expect a press conference at the warehouse within the next few days.

Probably a few T’s being crossed and I’s being dotted. You know the drill. And Chong would have to pass his physical before the Orioles introduced him to the local media.

Chong, 33, is a submarine-style right-hander who would work out of the bullpen for the Orioles. He’d also be the first pitcher from Korea’s top professional league to go directly to the majors.

“He’s a clutch pitcher who was on the mound when Korea beat Cuba for the WBC championship and again when Korea won the gold medal in China,” Duquette said. “He has a unique delivery that would be an interesting addition to any major league bullpen, according to Buck Martinez.”

Martinez was selected as the field manager for Team USA in the 2006 inaugural World Baseball Classic

Since Chong will be signing a major league deal, the Orioles will have to drop someone from the 40-man roster to make room.

I’ll close by passing along this tweet from @MyKBO: “I’m assuming broadcasters will be saying his last name like “Chong” as in ‘Cheech n Chong’? Should be pronounced like ‘Jung’, rhymes w/ sung”

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