The Mariners have agreed to a deal with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter). Seattle will owe Chen a Major League minimum salary ($563.5K) if he makes their big league roster, and that minimum salary will be subtracted from the $22MM the Marlins owe Chen for the 2020 season, the final guaranteed year of the southpaw’s original five-year, $80MM contract with Miami.
That deal ended up being a significant misfire for the Marlins, as Chen battled injuries and struggled over the length of his time in South Florida. Chen posted a 5.10 ERA over 358 innings as a Marlin, including a 6.59 ERA over 68 1/3 frames in 2019, working exclusively as a reliever.
Seattle is likely to see what Chen can do as either a starter or a reliever in camp, while gauging if the 34-year-old still has anything left in the tank following his rough stint in Miami. Chen will at least get opportunity on a Mariners club that is open to all contributions at both the back of the rotation or in the bullpen. Seattle is particularly thin on left-handed relief options, so that stands out as perhaps Chen’s best shot at making the Opening Day roster.
GM Jerry Dipoto said last week that the M’s were close to adding some new arms, and Seattle has since brought Nick Margevicius, Yoshihisa Hirano, and now Chen into the fold. Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, and Justus Sheffield project as the top three starters in the Mariners’ rotation, though the last two spots are still up in the air, with Margevicius, Chen, Kendall Graveman, Nestor Cortes, Phillips Valdez, and top prospect Justin Dunn all in the mix as potential rotation members.