The Miami Marlins bolstered their rotation by signing starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen on Tuesday. According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the 30-year-old southpaw agreed to a five-year, $80-million deal with an opt-out clause after the second year.
In four years with the Baltimore Orioles, Chen registered a 3.72 ERA, 4.16 FIP, and 6.97 K/9. Last season, he posted a career-best 3.34 ERA and 7.20 K/9 while maintaining stellar control, issuing 41 walks in 191.1 innings.
In addition to ditching the AL East for the light-hitting NL East, he'll also trade the homer-friendly Camden Yards for the spacious Marlins Park. Per ESPN.com's MLB Park Factors, his old home was the second-most conducive to home runs in 2015. His new locale yielded the third-lowest rate.
Last season, Tom Koehler was the only Marlins pitcher to pitch over 150 innings and make 30 starts. Expected to finish closer to the Mets than the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, the Marlins instead went 71-91 with a 4.25 staff ERA. Chen certainly represents an upgrade for a rotation hoping to get a full year out of young ace Jose Fernandez. Per Nightengale, the addition has Miami believing it can make a run at the Mets' division crown.
Before bursting into laughter, healthy returns from Fernandez and star slugger Giancarlo Stanton—and bounce-back campaigns from fellow outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna—would make the Marlins competitive. FanGraphs projects an 81-81 finish and 2.9 fWAR from Chen. Even if they're headed for another third-place finish, they're poised to take a step forward.