The Miami Marlins announced that pitcher Wei-Yin Chen has been designated for assignment on Wednesday. The reliever has been with the team since 2016.
"“It is a challenge, and it’s a good challenge to have,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “As we’ve built the layers of talent throughout the system, we still believe he is a very good Major League prospect.”"
Now, the Marlins prepare for the 2020 season without him, knowing it can maneuver a bit more in free agency and potential trades to aid the pitching staff.
"“We knew what was involved with Wei-Yin Chen,” Hill said. “We just felt like, as we looked to 2020 and beyond, that we have to make tough decisions. But in the end, we felt like this was the best use of our 40-man roster spots, and one that put us in the best position in moving into the future.”"
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The Marlins scarcely used Chen in the second half of the 2019 season.
"According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, “The decision to move on from 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, along with shortstop Jazz Chisholm and first baseman Lewin Diaz.”"
In his four seasons in Miami, Chen was less than exciting on the mound, posting a 13-19 record with a 5.10 ERA. He has a 46-32 and a 3.72 ERA in four seasons with the Orioles prior to signing with Miami in the offseason of 2016.
The name that might be the most talked-about within the organization to make the 26-man roster is Neidert, who will come to Spring Training as a contender for the rotation after a season in Triple-A that was marred by a knee injury. Neidert rebounded to have a solid second half of 2019 and was dominant in the Arizona Fall League.
It is also an indication of how far this minor league system has grown since Derek Jeter took over as the team’s CEO. He and Hill have built a feeder system that has proven to one of the best with both men making decisions.
And there is more to come because of shrewd decisions in the MLB Draft the past two years and how the Marlins have been able to acquire talent at the trade deadline. The only thing that is missing is the production translation from the minors to the Major Leagues. The pitching staff appears to be ahead of the hitters.
This is the reason Jeter put such an emphasis on grabbing outfield prospects with high-home run potential this past season. And his ability to grab top prospects is starting to pay off, even if it has been a slow process since September of 2017.
When Jeter took over the team, there was the need to add arms to the minor league system to build the pitching foundation for the future.