CPBL: Former MLBers Mengden, McCarty Sign With CBTC Brothers; TSG Hawks Unveil Uniforms

Relief pitcher Daniel Mengden of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on August 18, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network

The CTBC Brothers and the Fubon Guardians are currently the two most active Chinese Professional Baseball League organizations in the free-agent market, especially regarding adding pitch depth.  

CTBC Brothers Sign RHP Daniel Mengden, LHP Kirk McCarty, and Re-Sign LHP Jose De Paula – All three pitchers signed by the Brothers are foreign-born, as De Paula is from the Dominican Republic, and both Mengden and McCarty are American. CPBL Stats reported all three signings on X.  

Mengden was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft by the Houston Astros and has appeared in 65 MLB games since 2016 with the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals. He has a career 4.65 ERA in 49 starts and 16 games out of the bullpen.  

In 2021, Mengden went 8-3 with a 3.60 ERA for the Kia Tigers in the Korea Baseball Organization.  

McCarty has less MLB experience than Mengden, appearing in 13 games for the Cleveland Guardians in 2022. He posted a 4.54 ERA in 37.2 innings and had trouble limiting the long ball, giving up 11 roundtrippers.   

He had better results in 2023 with the SSG Landers in the KBO, winning nine games in 24 starts and striking out eight batters per nine innings. Mendgen and McCarty should join the Brothers’ rotation during the 2024 season.  

De Paula began his CPBL career with the Brothers in 2020 and has made 104 appearances with the team since. The 35-year-old led the CPBL in wins (16), ERA (3.20), and strikeouts (192) in 2020 and was named league MVP.  

He earned MVP honors again in 2021 and led the Brothers to their first Taiwan Series title since 2010. Due to his recent success with the team, De Paula could be the opening-day starter for the Brothers.  

Fubon Guardians Sign RHP Nivaldo Rodriguez, Re-Sign RHP Enderson Franco – The Fubon Guardians have signed right-handed pitchers Nivaldo Rodriguez and Enderson Franco, according to CPBL Stats on X. Rodriguez and Franco were both born in Venezuela.  

Rodriguez, 26, appeared in nine games for the Houston Astros from 2020-21 and most recently played for the Navegantes del Magallanes in Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional. He posted a 4.74 ERA in 10 starts (43.2 innings) during the 2023-24 season. Since 2020, Rodriguez has played in Puerto Rico, Mexico, the American Association of Professional Baseball, and had a brief 19-game stint with Triple-A Toledo in 2022, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.  

Franco, 31, appeared in five games for the San Francisco Giants in 2019 but was outstanding for Fubon out of the bullpen during the 2023 season. He posted a 0.95 ERA in 52 games and recorded nine saves.  

Like Rodriguez, Franco has played professional baseball in multiple countries but has found a home in Fubon. In two seasons in the CPBL, Franco has posted a 1.61 ERA, by far the lowest in any league he has pitched in. He spent the 2021 KBO season with the Lotte Giants but struggled as a part-time starter, posting a 5.40 ERA and allowing 20 home runs in 37 games.  

TSG Hawks Hold Press Conference – The TSG Hawks, the CPBL’s newest expansion franchise, held a press conference at the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center in Taiwan on Wednesday. During the conference, the team gave fans a first look at their white, green, and gold home and away uniforms and Takao, the team’s mascot.  

Taiwan Steel Group owns the TSG Hawks, and the team will play their home games at Chengcing Lake Baseball Stadium in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Manager Hong I-Chung will be at the helm for the Hawks during their inaugural season.  

Additional Recent Transactions (2023 Statistics/Team)  

  • CTBC Brothers Sign LHP Liu Chi-Hong (NA/Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions)  
  • Wei Chuan Dragons Sign 2B Kuo Yen-Wen (2 HR, 13 RBI, .727 OPS/ Rakuten Monkeys)  
  • Wei Chuan Dragons Sign OF Cheng Kai-Wen (23 PA, .158 BA, .462 OPS/ Uni-President 7- Eleven Lions)  
  • TSG Hawks Sign LHP Lai Hung-Cheng (30.1 IP, 1.78 ERA, 15 SO/ Rakuten Monkeys)  

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