As first reported by MLB.com’s Bill Ladson and now confirmed by Buster Olney of ESPN, the Nationals are showing interest in free agent starter Wei-Yin Chen. Olney notes that Chen is a Scott Boras client, like many of the Nats’ current players. Ladson, however, says it’s not clear if Washington is willing to do a five-year deal.
Chen registered a strong 3.34 ERA, 1.218 WHIP, and 153/41 K/BB ratio across 191 1/3 innings this past season for the Orioles. He has a 3.72 ERA (110 ERA+) in 117 starts since leaving Japan for Baltimore on a three-year, $12 million contract with a $4.75 million club option for 2015.
That deal proved to be a huge bargain.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko tweeted last week that the 30-year-old left-hander wants $100 million over five years, and it’s not a crazy request in a market where Jeff Samardzija can command $90 million. Chen was a much better pitcher than Samardzija in 2015, and Chen is even a few months younger than the new Giants right-hander.