The Marlins announced that left-hander Wei-Yin Chen has cleared waivers and been released. This move boils down to little more than a formality, as Chen was designated for assignment last week and no team was ever going to claim the remaining $22MM on his contract (which expires at the end of the 2020 season).
Chen, now 34, was a steady source of quality innings from 2012-15 in Baltimore, pitching to a 3.72 ERA in the hitter-friendly AL East while averaging 29.25 starts and 176 innings per year. That durability and reliability led the Marlins to invest a whopping five-year, $80MM contract in the lefty when he hit the free-agent market, but the deal went south almost immediately.
Chen barely kept his ERA under 5.00 and tossed just 123 1/3 innings in his first year with the Marlins. A UCL injury wiped out nearly all of his 2017 season and much of the 2018 campaign, and he pitched just 68 1/3 innings of ineffective relief work in 2019. Overall, he recorded a dismal 5.10 ERA in 358 innings with Miami.
Now that he’s a free agent, Chen is free to sign with any club, and a new team would only owe him the prorated league minimum for any time spent on the Major League roster. That sum would be subtracted from the $22MM owed to Chen by the Miami organization, but at this point the Marlins have accepted the fact that they’re on the hook for the vast majority of his remaining guarantee.