By: Daniel Satter
Yesterday, the Marlins decided to fill a key holes by signing southpaw Wei-Yin Chen to a 5 year deal worth $80 mil. Now, Chen will not receive a no-trade clause. In addition, the contract comes with an opt-out opportunity for the 30-year-old Chen after the 2017 season. In fact, he will receive just $28 mil of the guaranteed money in the first two years of the deal ($8 mil signing bonus, $6 mil salary in 2016, and $14 mil for 2017). That means that the Marlins could get two prime years of the southpaw at a very appealing rate if he opts out of the deal. Now, if Chen struggles the backside of the deal could turn ugly. Interestingly, if Chen does opt out of the deal, the Marlins could pick up a draft pick via qualifying offer. Also, if Chen reaches over 180 innings of work he will earn a vesting player option for a sixth season. If that option is achieved and accepted by Chen, then his contract raises from $80 mil to $96 mil.
First off, Chen will step in as the number two in the rotation behind Jose Fernandez (Ace). Chen has been a solid pitcher in his time with Baltimore, but does not eat innings up (go deep in games). He will be asked to eat innings with a shaky rotation. Chen also rarely produces ground balls and does not strikeout many batters. He is a suspect to the long ball.
Finally, Chen compiled a record of 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA in 706.2 innings of work, which he struck out only 547 batters and only walked 172 batters.
Note: This is a nice pickup if Chen stays healthy and pitches well. Smart move to bring a player with a winning back ground into a young and inexperienced roster.