Royals To Sign Bruce Chen

The Royals and Bruce Chen have agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM with another $1.5MM in performance bonuses according to's Jon Heyman (on Twitter). The deal is pending a physical per a team press release. Chen is represented by Scott Boras.

The 33-year-old is the second free agent lefty Kansas City has signed in as many days. Unlike Jeff Francis, Chen spent the 2010 season with the Royals, pitching to a 4.17 ERA in 140 1/3 innings. He struck out 6.3 and walked 3.7 batters per nine innings pitched, respectively. It was the second most innings Chen has pitched in a single big league season since 2001, as he's bounced around from team to team over the last decade. 

Chen has extensive experience both starting and relieving, so he'll provide the Royals with quite a bit of flexibility should some of the high-end arms from their top ranking farm system come up during the season. He'll also be a nice piece of trade bait at the deadline should he repeat last season's success.

GM Dayton Moore recently indicated that he was prioritizing pitching depth, and within five days he signed both Chen and Francis for just a $4MM guarantee combined. Those two won't replace Zack Greinke's production, but they'll give the team much needed innings.

34 Responses to Royals To Sign Bruce Chen Leave a Reply


  2. Where in the hell did the ‘Angels sign Manny’ thread go? Guy from ESPN Deportes wrong again?

  3. Goldberg365 5 years ago

    Gotta have him, he’s a former Brave after all. Regardless, there are certainly worse options for a 5th starter.

    • Daniel Wesley 5 years ago

      He’s also a former Expo, Phillie, Met, Red, and Red Sox. That joke only goes so far.

      • wcg1380 5 years ago

        And a former Royal…

        • brstreet9 5 years ago

          …and Oriole and Ranger. Might as well get ’em all.

      • Goldberg365 5 years ago

        I miss the Expos.

        • You know what I miss? The ‘Angels sign Manny Ramirez’ thread that was up here about 5 minutes ago for approximately 11 seconds. Because if I don’t see that thread again, I can only assume that I imagined it, which also means I’m starting to lose my grip on reality. I’ve got enough to worry about with McLouth in center field and such…

        • Oh christ almighty, the Braves face Livan Hernandez on opening day. They can’t hit him and his 83mph fastball that baffled them all last year. Guy turned into Pedro every single time he faced the Braves.

          • Goldberg365 5 years ago

            Its better than the Phillies like last year.

          • Braves played the Cubs last year. How can you forget a certain 475ft blast by #22?

            Oddly enough, the other Braves top outfield prospect hit a HR on his first PA of the season back in 2009, which was against the Phillies. I remember Lowe going 8 innings and giving up only two hits and no runs and said to myself, ‘Damn, nice going Wren.’ Now I bash my face into a wall at the mere mention of his(Lowe) name, although he was killing it to finish the season last year.

            I hope Zimmerman doesn’t hit another walkoff HR against us on opening day.

          • Goldberg365 5 years ago

            Ah, I was actually at Turner for that game, I put it in a different mental pile than openers on Tv.

      • roberty 5 years ago

        The point of the joke is that he joins several other former Braves on a team that is managed by a Braves former third base coach, and constructed by a former Braves executive.

        Former Braves currently on the Royals 40 man roster
        Jesse Chavez
        Bruce Chen
        Kyle Davies
        Brayan Pena
        Wilson Betemit
        Gregor Blanco
        Melky Cabrera
        Jeff Francoeur

        Former Braves featured on the 2009 Royals
        Tony Peny Jr.
        Josh Anderson
        Juan Cruz
        Anthony Lerew
        Kyle Farnsworth
        Ron Mahay
        Roman Colon
        Horacio Ramirez

        It’s possible the joke goes even further than this, but I don’t have the ambition to continue.

      • tdw815 5 years ago

        Did he play for the mets? I know it was the Expos Braves Phillies

    • brstreet9 5 years ago

      I think on this staff, more like the #1 or #2 starter.

  4. Angles sign Manny is FALSE.

  5. Babawhitesox 5 years ago

    So much for Chen asking for multi year deal. How ridiculous is that notion?

  6. Koby2 5 years ago

    Rotation insurance/innings eater till the first starting prospects start to come up. Not too expensive, and sort of a bonus for how he pitched last season. Could be far, far worse.

  7. Come On Chen!!!

    • twenty1thirteen 5 years ago

      I wonder if many people outside KC saw this? Freaking hilarious.

      • Revive85 5 years ago

        Yes, that was one of the funniest games that I watched all season. Good ol’ Will Ferrell

  8. MoCrash 5 years ago

    Give DM some credit: he’s not sitting on his hands this winter. While the Royals’ prospects for 2011 are dim, he’s been lessening the stinkatude. Now the Royals have some SP depth, if not yet of high quality, and more L-R balance (two years ago, they didn’t have a halfway viable LHP in the rotation). I suspect DM will now focus on middle relief.

    Maybe I’m the only one, but I think DM is growing into the job a little bit. During his early years I thought he overreacted to fan impatience — a term I used advisedly, since Royals fans have been remarkably patient through 25 years of futility (which has worn them down to the point of congenital pessism) — giving KC the treat of guys like Guillen and Jacobs, defense-challenged sluggers whose chances of flourishing in The K were minimal. But he didn’t neglect the foundation of the farm system and is finding values for stop-gaps, who could fetch something at the trading deadline — maybe even providing some positive veteran presence through a transitional period — as the Royals continue to stockpile young talent. It will still take a couple of years for the plans to pay if — and there’s certainly no guarantee they will — but the Royals are being built to last (as much as can be done in this era).

  9. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    Signing Chen is a good move for the Royals. They know him, he knows them, they need guys to take the mound. One year is about right. That should allow some of their young arm more time-some need it, some have to be kept from super two status down the road. (Not that I agree with that, but it’s reality for teams that aren’t rolling in dough.)

    I like both the Chen and the Francis signing for them.

  10. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    another decent move for KC. Are they starting to finally get it?

  11. roberty 5 years ago

    Chen triumphantly returns to the island of misfit Braves. Congratulations!

  12. I’d actually go for Chen starting opening day, whereas you can slot Hoch, Francis (to split up the lefties), Davies and XXXXX behind him. Chen’s a classy guy, and really came into his own last year, especially toward the end. There’s really no real difference/significance, in who starts opening day in a rotation like this anyway. Between he and Francis, the rotation looks a whole lot better than it did a week ago. Can’t wait for MLB.TV to get crankin’ – see what this team’s potential is for 2012!

  13. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    I really wish the Pirates signed him. He’s the coolest guy in baseball.

  14. setupunchtag 5 years ago

    I texted a friend of mine after the Greinke trade that the Royals needed to get both Francis and Chen, so I’m really quite surprised this organization does ANYthing I think they need to do. Obviously, I like the signing. They Royals basically have a staff now with all #4 starters (ok, maybe a couple of #5’s and a couple who could jump to a #3 or #2 with a career year). I like that starters #6-10 this year will be comprised of O’Sullivan, Miner, Teaford, Duffy, and Crow, as opposed to Bullington, Humber, Lerew, Hernandez, and Thompson.

  15. This guys keeps getting work every year. Not really sure why.

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