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01/29/2007 9:49 PM ET
Dodgers sign Tsao to one-year deal
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Monday that they have signed right-handed pitcher Chin-hui Tsao and added him to the 40-man roster.

"Chin-hui was one of the more promising young relievers in the game as recently as two years ago," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. "He's battled through some difficult injuries, but at his young age we are excited about him coming to Spring Training, competing for a spot on the roster and seeing what he can do when he is healthy."

Tsao, 25, was slated to become the Colorado Rockies' closer entering the 2005 season, but shoulder surgery ended his season and kept him out of action in 2006 as well.

The right-hander has spent his entire big-league career in the Rockies' organization, appearing in 29 games from 2003-05 and going 4-3 with four saves in those contests. The reliever was rated as Colorado's No. 1 prospect by Baseball America in 2001, 2002 and 2004, as well as being named the Rockies' Organizational Player of the Year in 2003.

Tsao became the first Taiwanese-born pitcher to appear in the Major Leagues when he made his Major League debut and won his first big-league game on July 25, 2003, against Milwaukee. He was also the first player born in Taiwan to get a hit when he doubled off New York's Steve Trachsel at Shea Stadium on Aug. 18, 2003. Dodgers left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo was the third Taiwanese-born pitcher to make the Major Leagues when he debuted in 2005 and former Los Angeles outfielder Chin-Feng Chen was the first Taiwanese player to appear in a big-league contest when he played on Sept. 14, 2002.

A national hero in Taiwan, Tsao has represented his country in five major competitions, including the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece where he made two appearances for Chinese Taipei, compiling a 1.93 ERA and one save.

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