Yankees sign two Chinese teenagers

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees signed a pair of Chinese
players, saying Monday they were the first players from China
signed by major league teams with the approval of the country's
baseball association.

The Mariners signed Chinese pitcher Wang Chao in 2002 without the blessing of the Chinese baseball association.

Kai Liu, a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher, and Zhenwang Zhang,
a 19-year-old catcher, are to be introduced at a Yankee Stadium
news conference on July 6 and then will report to the team's minor
league complex in Tampa, Fla.

Liu has played for Guangdong Province in China's six-team league
and has been chosen for the national team. Zhang played for the
Tianjin Lions, winning league titles in 2002, 2005 and 2006, and
appeared in one game at last year's World Baseball Classic but did
not have any at-bats.

"We have scouts worldwide and we have seen both players in the
past," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

Yankees executives visited China in January and reached a
working agreement with the Chinese Baseball Association.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.