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MLB: Tampa Bay Rays Sign Taiwanese IF Yu Chang to Minor League Deal With Camp Invite

 Matt Tallarini  |    Feb 21st, 2024 11:03am EST

Yu Chang of the Boston Red Sox looks on before the game against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on July 28, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Rays signed Taiwanese infielder Yu Chang to a minor league contract and is invited to major league camp, the organization announced Feb. 20. 


Chang, 28, was born in Taitung, Taiwan, and has played five seasons in Major League Baseball with the Cleveland Indians-Guardians from 2019-22, the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2022, the Rays in 2022, and the Boston Red Sox from 2022-23. 

Chang elected free agency on Oct. 13, 2023 prior to signing with Tampa Bay. 

Last season, Chang played in 39 games with the Red Sox and batted .162 with 17 hits, two doubles, six home runs, 18 RBI, four stolen bases, three walks, and struck out 34 times. Chang played shortstop in 33 games with Boston and had 112 chances in 256 innings along with 37 put-outs, 74 assists, one error, turned 23 double-plays, and posted a .991 fielding percentage. 

Chang landed on the injured list three times during the 2023 season, going on the 10-day injured list on April 25 with a left hamate bone fracture. Chang was also placed on the 60-day injured list on June 22 and was sent to Double-A Portland on June 30. 

He also landed on the 7-day injured list with a concussion on Sept. 2 and was activated on Sept. 25. 

Chang played in four games with Portland, hitting .071 in 15 plate before he was sent to Triple-A Worcester on July 4. 

He played in 16 games with Worcester and batted .323 in 66 plate appearances with 20 hits, two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI, two stolen bases, four walks, and 13 strikeouts. 

Chang played in four games at first base for Chinese Taipei at the 2023 World Baseball Classic last March in Pool A at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan. He hit .438 and scored five runs, recording seven hits, two doubles, two home runs, eight RBI, two walks, and two strikeouts and made the All-World Baseball Classic Team. 

In 2022, Chang played with Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Boston, appearing in 69 games and hitting .208 in 190 plate appearances with 35 hits, six doubles, four home runs, 15 RBI, 16 walks, and 59 strikeouts. 

Chang also played with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus in the Guardians’ organization in 2022, appearing in eight games and hitting .174 with four hits, one double, four RBI, five walks, and seven strikeouts. 

During Chang’s five seasons in MLB, he has played in 235 games with a career average of .204 over 650 plate appearances with 121 hits, 24 doubles, four triples, 20 home runs, 79 RBI, 43 walks, 188 strikeouts, and a .624 OPS. 

Chang will be competing for a backup role on the left side of the infield with Junior Caminero, Osleivis Basabe, and José Caballero. 

The Rays will play the Atlanta Braves in the first spring training game at home in Port Charlotte, Fla. at Charlotte Sports Park on February 24 at 1:05 p.m. EST.