MLB Contracts: The worst contract on every team

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 29: Chris Davis #19 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out looking for the third out of the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 29, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 29: Chris Davis #19 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out looking for the third out of the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 29, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 24: Wei-Yin Chhen #54 of the Miami Marlins watches the game in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

25. Miami Marlins

Wei -Yin Chen, 5 years, $80 million, 2016-20 with a 2021 club option. Boras Corp.

When the Marlins signed Chen, the plan was to fit him in as a reliable No. 2 starter behind Jose Fernandez, let him school up-and-comers Tom Koehler and Adam Conley, and ride that rotation plus rising stars Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna to a World Series title oh…right about now.

Plans, however, have a way of changing. Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in September of 2016, neither Koehler nor Conley developed as expected, the team was sold and the new ownership divested itself of Stanton, Ozuna and Yelich.

Given all that, what’s the point of paying Chen $20 million in 2019?

His record has been just so-so. Since coming to Miami, he’s 13-18 in 53 starts with a 4.75 ERA, numbers that don’t justify the $60 million he’s earned to date. Beyond that, injuries sidelined him for much of 2017. He was, however, healthy in 2018 when he started 26 games and produced a 4.79 ERA.

During his two healthy seasons for the Marlins, his park-adjusted and ERA has been not climbed out of the high 70s on a scale where 100 represents average.

Chen holds a 2021 vesting option ensuring him $16 million if he works either 180 inning in 2020 or 360 innings over the next two seasons combined. His high in Miami to date is 133 innings. Combine that with the unlikelihood of the new Marlins ownership wanting to keep Chen (at $16 million) into 2021, and you can estimate the chance of him getting much work for Miami these next couple of seasons at between zero percent and less than zero.