Baltimore Orioles: Worth going after Wei-Yin Chen?
Should the Baltimore Orioles attempt to re-sign southpaw Wei-Yin Chen?
The one free agent that Baltimore Orioles fans haven’t talked much about this off season as of yet is Wei-Yin Chen. To be honest, I think that most people saw him as someone the team wasn’t going to be able to afford as a result of guys like Davis and Wieters. And from the sounds of things, the team feels the same way.
It’s been reported in the national media that agent Scott Boras is looking for a five-year, $100 million dollar contract for Chen. The Orioles generally don’t sign pitchers for five years, so that right there kind of closes the door. However I suppose my question to you, the fans, today once again is should the O’s consider signing Chen?
His time with the Orioles can’t be questioned in terms of how well he performed. He’s also a lefty; and one as good as him is tough to find. Furthermore the Orioles need a left-handed arm. So…should they reconsider – or consider signing Chen?
Call to the Pen
I would say no – not at five years, at least. I could see giving Chen some decent money for three years, perhaps with a club option for a fourth. However at thirty years old, I think that asking a team to go five years is a bit much on Boras’ part. Then again, it’s not as if Boras is the most reasonable guy in the room to begin with.
Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The point is that the back end of a five-year contact might not be pretty. You could end up in a situation where someone like Chen has to move to the bullpen, and based on what Boras is asking you’re suddenly paying a relief pitcher $20 million. That’s a huge risk, and when you have a fiduciary responsibility to ownership it’s probably not one worth taking.
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This is not to say that Chen’s an easy guy to let walk, as he was great while in Baltimore. He also got to be a fan favorite, and thus a player that a lot of fans got behind. Believe me, I’m not a fan of letting “your free agents” walk. However that’s not to say that taking unnecessary risks is the most intelligent way to run the team.
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If Chen can find a team that’s willing to give him that contract, I’d say go for it. However to my knowledge nobody’s offered what they’re looking for. So perhaps if the demands change, it’s something the Orioles should consider.