Chen released by Marlins, becomes free agent

November 27th, 2019

MIAMI -- is now officially a free agent.

Chen, who was designated for assignment on Nov. 20, has cleared waivers. The Marlins released the 34-year-old left-hander on Wednesday.

The transaction completes a formality that was expected after Miami decided to designate Chen last week to create 40-man roster space. When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

The Marlins are still on the hook to pay the $22 million Chen is set to make in 2020. If Chen pitches for another club, that team would be responsible to cover the prorated MLB minimum salary, which is $555,000.

Chen signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the Marlins in 2016, the richest contract for a pitcher in franchise history. But the left-hander’s tenure in Miami was marred by injuries and inconsistencies. He was the Marlins’ Opening Day starter that year because at the time, the club had a strict innings limit on the late Jose Fernandez. A left elbow injury limited Chen to nine appearances (five starts) in '17, and the same elbow issue cut short his '16 season after 22 starts.

In 2019, the Marlins converted Chen to a relief role, and he posted a 6.59 ERA in 68 1/3 innings across 45 outings.

In four years with Miami, Chen went 13-19 with a 5.10 ERA. His career with the Marlins never got on track after he was a standout with the Orioles, posting a 46-32 record with a 3.72 ERA in four seasons.