The Miami Marlins reportedly have given free-agent pitcher Wei-Yin Chen a five-year deal worth $80 million, which is a very favorable deal for the former Orioles left-hander when you look at the details.
The deal -- if it remains in place for the entire term -- will pay Chen $16 million a year for five years and another $16 million if he reaches certain quantitative statistical levels. So, agent Scott Boras can say that he got his client almost $100 million.
What makes it even better for Boras and Chen is the two-year opt-out clause that would allow Chen to go back into the free-agent market after the 2017 season if he puts up big numbers and the market value of starting pitching continues to escalate.
Why any team would give a player a huge guarantee and an opt-out is beyond me -- and Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette -- since it increases the risk for the team and increases the leverage for the player.
I'm going to agree strongly with Duquette on this. If a player is asking for a top-market guarantee and isn't willing to commit to my team for the duration of that deal, I wouldn't want him on my team.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not questioning Chen's integrity. The opt-out concept is gaining popularity among pro sports agents and will continue to do so as salaries continue to escalate. I just think that its silly for a team to pay for five years of loyalty if the player is only willing to agree to two.