The Marlin had been known to be looking to trade for starting pitching this offseason. They’ve engaged in trade talks regarding outfielder Marcell Ozuna for a young starter as well as ace Jose Fernandez for multiple young assets. In the end, it seems they couldn’t find what they were looking for and opted to sign former All-Star Edwin Jackson to a one-year deal last week and now have made a bigger splash in signing Wei-Yen Chen to a five year deal worth $80 million.
The deal is the biggest the Marlins’ brass has given out to a starter, beating out Mark Buehrle’s deal with Miami. There was some thought that Chen wouldn’t be a fit in Miami due to his agent Scott Boras. Boras is also the agent of Miami’s ace Jose Ferandez and Marlins ownership and management haven’t been on friendly terms in the past few months over Fernandez’s situation. However, it seems the two sides were able to put that to the side and strike a deal for Chen. Chen’s deal allows him to opt out after the second year so he can re-enter the free agent market after 2017. The Marlins are only on the hook for $28 million for the first two years, so Chen would be leaving quite a bit of money for the remaining three years as well as a possible player vesting option for year 6 which could bring the overall value of the contract to 6 years and $96 million.
Chen will join a young group of players in Miami that is led by Jose Fernandez and slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Chen will join Fernandez, Jarred Cosart, Tom Koehler, and possibly Edwin Jackson in the Miami rotation. Chen’s deal could restart the starting pitching market that was once very active in December. This could pave the way for Ian Kennedy, Yovani Gallardo, and others to sign relatively soon, with the Orioles and Royals being among the top suitors for a remaining starter.