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Wei-Yin Chen thanks Marlins after being designated for assignment

2019/11/21 17:12:15

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 21 (CNA) Taiwanese Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (陳偉殷) on Thursday thanked the Miami Marlins for letting him go, after the team announced Wednesday that he had been designated for assignment (DFA), meaning it now has seven days to trade or release him.

"I will do my best ahead of the upcoming challenges," Chen, 34, wrote in a Facebook post, expressing appreciation to the Marlins for the decision.

The Marlins made the announcement before the Wednesday night deadline in the U.S. for big league clubs to protect players from the Rule 5 draft.

"I want to thank Wei-Yin Chen for his service with the Marlins," the team's president of baseball operations Michael Hill said in a press conference. "We now have seven days to outright trade or release him. So we will continue to see if we can find him a new home within those seven days."

The decision was not about money, Hill said in apparent reference to the US$22 million owed to the left hander under a five-year contract he signed with the team ahead of the 2016 baseball season.

"It was about building the best and deepest 40-man roster, to allow us to compete in 2020 and beyond," Hill said. "And that's our job, to try to manage our roster to the best of our ability."

According to international media reports, Chen will receive US$5 million during the 2020 season, US$5 million on Nov. 30 next year, and the remaining US$12 million by June 30, 2021.

When the hard-throwing Taiwanese lefty signed with the Marlins, his US$80 million contract was the biggest obtained by a pitcher on the team and also by a professional athelte of Chinese ethnicity.

However, Chen never lived up to the deal, as he was plagued by left elbow injuries that limited him to 22 starts in 2016 and nine appearances in 2017.

Chen, who was a starting pitcher with the team, was moved to the bullpen in 2019, and in 45 appearances, he had a 6.59 ERA in 68 1/3 innings. In his four seasons with the Marlins, Chen went 13-19 with a 5.10 ERA.

Prior to that, in his four years with the Baltimore Orioles, he was 46-32 in an impressive 3.72 ERA performance.

The decision to part with Chen left the Marlins with six openings on the 40-man roster, which were filled by right-handers Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera, Nick Neidert and Humberto Mejia, and shortstop Jazz Chisholm and first baseman Lewin Diaz.

Chen was the first Taiwanese baseball pitcher to make the jump to the MLB after a stint in Japan's professional baseball league. He played with the Chunichi Dragons in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) from 2004 through 2011 before joining the Orioles.

He is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Sunday and hold a press conference Nov. 27, during which he is expected to talk about his plans for the future.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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