Marlins sign Wei-Yin Chen to five-year, $80 million contract

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UPDATE: Buster Olney of ESPN.com says Chen has agreed to terms with the Marlins on a five-year deal, $80 million contract with a sixth-year option He joins a rotation headlined by Jose Fernandez and will try to be rare big-money free agent to actually remain in Miami for the entire contract.

Chen’s contract reportedly does not include a no-trade clause and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that he’ll have the ability to opt out of the deal after two seasons. In terms of guaranteed money Chen’s deal is right in line with what Mike Leake (five years, $80 million) and Jeff Samardzija (five years, $90 million) got, but the opt-opt gives him more flexibility and potentially more earning ability.

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Marlins “remain in active negotiations” with free agent left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, which is a follow-up to his report from last week that they’d expressed interest in the former Orioles starter.

There hasn’t been a ton of buzz around Chen yet, although now that the bigger names are off the market he stands as the top available free agent starter following a season in which he logged 191 innings with a 3.34 ERA. Through age 29 he has a 3.72 ERA in 707 total innings as a big leaguer, all with Baltimore.

Chen turned down a $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Orioles and would require forfeiting a draft pick to sign, but because of the Marlins’ poor record last season they’d be giving up a second-rounder rather than a first-rounder.

Based on what Jeff Samardzija and Mike Leake signed for earlier this winter Chen would seemingly be in line for at least $75 million over five years and possibly as much as $100 million. And based on the Marlins’ track record with such signings they’d probably be looking to trade his contract in a year or two anyway.