After an off-season defined by inactivity and overall apathy, the Marlins finally made a splash and it was a big one. The Marlins signed Wei-Yin Chen to a five year $80 million deal this afternoon. After several solid seasons with Baltimore, Chen scores a major paycheck and brings productive pitching to Miami one of the Marlins main goals for the offseason.
With the inclusion of Chen, the Marlins rotation looks much different than it did yesterday. Chen is expected to slot in as the second starter in the Miami rotation behind Jose Fernandez. After the team non-tendered Henderson Alvarez, the team was left with three open rotation spots. The team signed Edwin Jackson to a major league minimum deal more than likely taking up one of the open spots, Chen will fill one of the others.
The question is now, who will fill the remaining two spots in the rotation? It is assumed Tom Koehler will take the third or fourth spot in the Miami rotation but who will grab the fifth? Prospect Adam Conley made a strong debut for the team late in the 2015 season and made a strong case to be a part of the teams’ everyday rotation.
Jared Cosart is also another option to take the spot. After being pegged as a young ace when he was acquired by the Marlins, Cosart lost quite a few steps in 2015 when a disastrous season ended up with him being cast off to AAA New Orleans. Veteran David Phelps will also find himself in the mix, as well as Justin Nicolino.
The Marlins could however, sign one more solid, proven, veteran pitcher to fill the third spot in the rotation and have the rest of the rotation compete for the final spot. Doug Fister provides an affordable and effective option for this role if the Marlins decide to go that route.
Overall, the Chen signing was a solid one for the Marlins and will give them another consistent and reliable pitcher in the Marlins rotation.