Chen signed a contract with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball on Friday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. The veteran southpaw was cut by the Mariners before the 2020 season in July and eventually joined the Chiba Lotte Marines of NPB in September. Chen had a 2.42 ERA over 26 innings for the Marines and will continue his career in Japan with the TIgers.
The Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball announced Monday that Chen signed a contract with the team. Chen's time in MLB looks to be over after he posted a 6.59 ERA and 1.54 WHIP over 45 relief appearances with the Marlins in 2019 and then failed to win a spot on Seattle's Opening Day roster during summer camp. The 35-year-old southpaw proved to be a massive disappointment after signing a five-year, $80 million contract with Miami in January 2016, but he turned in four solid seasons as a member of Baltimore's rotation prior to landing the massive deal.
The Mariners released Chen on Saturday, Andersen Pickard of MLBDailyDish.com reports. Chen posted a solid two-inning outing all the way back in late February, but even a likely six-man rotation to open the season apparently won't do enough to keep him in uniform with the club when the regular season opens. Chen tossed 68.1 relief innings to poor results with the Marlins last year and may have a tough time finding a home for the start of 2020.
Chen fired two scoreless innings in a Cactus League win over the Reds on Wednesday, allowing two hits and recording no walks or strikeouts. Chen arrived in late January on a minor-league contract and remains an option for the back end of the starting rotation, although he'll likely have to outperform fellow veteran Kendall Graveman to secure a spot. Chen could certainly also fill a multi-inning role out of the bullpen, where he operated exclusively for the Marlins last season and generated a career-worst 6.59 ERA and 1.54 WHIP across 45 appearances.
Chen signed a minor-league contract with the Mariners on Thursday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. The deal includes an invitation to spring training. Chen joins the Mariners after being designated for assignment by the Marlins following the 2019 campaign. The veteran southpaw transitioned to a bullpen role last season but struggled to a 6.59 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 68.1 innings.
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