Seattle Mariners release veteran LHP Wei-Yin Chen

Former Miami Marlins pitcher Wei-Yin Chen has been released by the Seattle Mariners.

Announced via a post on his personal Facebook page, eight-year MLB veteran pitcher Wei-Yin Chen has been released by the Seattle Mariners. According to the Pacific Coast League transaction page, Chen’s release was made official on June 25.

Chen was picked up by the Mariners this offseason after being released by the Miami Marlins in November. He is still owed $22 million this year by Marlins after signing a 5-year/$80 million deal ahead of the 2016 season.

Chen never lived up to expectations with Miami, going 13-19 with a 5.10 ERA and a combined -0.6 bWAR across four seasons as a Marlin. Injuries forced Chen to miss most of 2017 and continued to hinder his abilities in Miami, leading to being moved to the bullpen full-time for the first time in his career in 2019.

The transition was a struggle, posting a career-high 6.59 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 45 appearances. He did, however, record a career-high 8.3 K/9 IP.

Wei-Yin Chen put together a solid four-year stint with the Baltimore Orioles to begin his career in the United States, finishing fourth in American League Rookie of the Year voting with a 12-11 record, 4.02 ERA and 154 strikeouts across 197.2 innings pitched.

Overall, Chen was 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA in Baltimore and was worth 9.4 bWAR.

Per his Facebook announcement, Chen’s dream was to sign with the Seattle Mariners when he became a free agent after his time with the Orioles. He was able to make two appearances in a Mariners uniform during spring training, giving up four runs on seven hits across 3.1 innings.

“Baseball is my lifelong mission. I will keep working hard. I hope you will keep cheering for me as well!” said Chen. The 34-year-old lefty will likely have options over the next few weeks to continue his career.

Major league clubs are now allowed to sign free agents ahead of setting their 60-man rosters for the 2020 season (rosters due by Sunday, June 28th) and a team looking for a veteran depth option to stash on their taxi squad could be an option for Chen.

He could also elect to finish his career where his pro career started, in Japan in the NPB. Both the CPBL and KBO are quickly working their way to the mid-point of their seasons, giving Chen more options to jump on with a team in need of fresh pitching to close out the season.

Next: How baseball will be different in 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic still at large and cases climbing at record rates in the United States, continuing his career back overseas and sticking close to his home in Taiwan may be the safest option for Chen to climb the mound in 2020.