Marlins agree to deals with LHP Wei-Yin Chen, INF Chris Johnson
MIAMI (AP) -- The Miami Marlins have fortified their rotation and bench by adding left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and infielder Chris Johnson.
Both players agreed to terms, a person close to the negotiations said Tuesday. The person confirmed the deals to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they hadn't been announced.
Chen accepted an $80 million, five-year contract with an option for 2021, and he can opt out after 2017. He adds needed depth to the rotation behind ace Jose Fernandez and might become Miami's No. 2 starter.
Source: #Marlins in agreement with Chen. Five-year contract with vesting player option for sixth year.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 12, 2016
Source: Chen deal with #Marlins will be five years, $80M. Does not include no-trade clause. Pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 12, 2016
Chen went 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA in four seasons with the Orioles. Last year he made 31 starts and went 11-8 with a 3.34 ERA, which ranked seventh in the American League. He gave up 28 homers, which tied for sixth-highest in the AL, and will be moving to a more pitcher-friendly park in Miami.
The rotation is also expected to include Jarred Cosart and Tom Koehler. David Phelps, Justin Nicolino, Jose Urena and Adam Conley are among the contenders for the other spot.
Johnson, a career .280 hitter in seven seasons, will provide depth at first and third base. He was with the Braves and Indians last year and batted .255 in 83 games.
A native of Naples, Florida, Johnson is a right-handed hitter with a career average of .314 against lefties. That makes him an appealing complement to first baseman Justin Bour, who hit 23 homers as a rookie last year -- all against right-handers.
Johnson was with the Braves when he and Fernandez were on opposite side of a bench-clearing confrontation in 2013. When Fernandez spat as he rounded third base after hitting a home run, Johnson said something to him and matters escalated. Fernandez was later rebuked by his manager for showboating and apologized.