Bruce Chen Rumors

Royals “Calling Everyone” To Trade Hochevar & Chen

The Royals are "calling everyone" in an attempt to trade both Luke Hochevar and Bruce Chen, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). The team is accelerating its timetable to acquire rotation help and wants to free up money.

Hochevar, 29, pitched to a 5.73 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 185 1/3 innings this season. The first overall pick in the 2006 draft owns a 5.39 ERA in 771 career innings. Hochevar is arbitration-eligible for the third time this winter and is projected to earn $4.4MM by Matt Swartz. He's a candidate to be non-tendered by Friday's deadline.

Chen, 35, posted a 5.07 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 191 2/3 innings this year. He's revived his career in Kansas City, pitching to a 4.55 ERA in 549 1/3 innings since 2009. Chen will earn $4.5MM next season as part of the two-year, $9MM contract he signed last winter. The soft-tossing southpaw will become a free agent next offseason.

Earlier today team owner David Glass told Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star that the team needs to maintain a $70MM payroll to break even, but they will "react based on what (their) opportunities are." The Royals have already acquired Ervin Santana and re-signed Jeremy Guthrie this offseason, but they continue to look for ways to upgrade a starting staff that posted to a 5.01 ERA this year.


Quick Hits: Byrd, Royals, Youk, Padres Sale

Marlon Byrd was suspended for 50 games today after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, according to MLB's official PR department (on Twitter). Byrd issued the following statement:

“I made an inexcusable mistake. Several years ago, I had surgery for a condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test. Although that medication is on the banned list, I absolutely did not use it for performance enhancement reasons. I am mortified by my carelessness and I apologize to everyone who loves this game as I do. I will serve my suspension, continue to work hard and hope that I am given an opportunity to help a Club win later this season.”

Here are some additional links for your Monday evening…

  • Royals general manager Dayton Moore told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that he has received zero calls on Jeff Francoeur, Bruce Chen, and Jonathan Broxton (Twitter link).
  • Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com tweets that the reason the Red Sox didn't get more for Kevin Youkilis is because some offers from interested parties simply stated that they would take Youkilis "for nothing," if the Sox were willing to pick up the entire contract.
  • The imminent sale of the Padres could have a positive impact on the Mariners, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The sale price is said to be $800MM — $600MM for the Padres and $200MM for a stake in their upcoming $1.2 billion TV deal with FOX. The Mariners can opt out of their current TV deal in 2015, and could be sitting on top of a "financial windfall," writes Baker. He writes that Mariners "should be able to get more in any pending sale if everything remains equal."
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes that yesterday's Youkilis trade has kicked off the trade season, and runs through some big names that could be trade candidates at this year's deadline.

American League Free Agent Arbitration Offers

10 American League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make, and we'll update them in this post throughout the day in advance of the 11pm central time deadline.  For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here

Updated team decisions:

Teams with decisions still due:



Quick Hits: Red Sox, Sizemore, Padres, Chen

Links for Wednesday night as we await arbitration decisions from the National and American Leagues…

  • Rob Bradford of WEEI.com surveyed this offseason's stronger-than-usual relief market with the help of many Major League GMs. The Red Sox aren’t desperate for a closer, because Daniel Bard and Bobby Jenks are already in their ‘pen, but GM Ben Cherington figures to explore the market for closers after losing Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies.
  • The Phillies, Rockies and Cubs had more interest in Grady Sizemore than any teams except the Indians, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter links). Hoynes has the details on Sizemore’s incentives: the outfielder obtains $1MM if he reaches 500 plate appearances and $500K for every 25 plate appearances until he reaches 650. 
  • The Padres aren’t likely to sign any free agent pitchers to Major League deals this offseason, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock (on Twitter). Padres GM Josh Byrnes sent starter Wade LeBlanc to Miami yesterday.
  • The Rockies had mild interest in Bruce Chen before he re-signed in Kansas City, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). 
  • The Twins and Cubs were Chen’s primary suitors other than the Royals, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).

Royals To Sign Bruce Chen

Piece by piece, the Royals' rotation is taking shape. They have agreed to sign Bruce Chen to a two-year deal worth $9MM. The deal also includes a $1MM roster bonus and up to $1MM in incentives.

Before agreeing to terms with Chen, Royals GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he is looking to add one or two more pitchers to compete with their internal candidates. Left-handers Jonathan Sanchez, Danny Duffy and Chen join right-handers Luke HochevarFelipe Paulino in the projected 2012 rotation at this point and relievers Aaron Crow and Everett Teaford could also transition to the rotation. Though Moore has already added two arms this offseason, the Royals lack top-of-the-rotation starters and may continue to pursue trades for available pitching.

Chen posted a 3.77 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 155 innings for the Royals this past season. The Royals offered the 34-year-old Scott Boras client arbitration earlier today, which means they would have obtained a compensatory draft pick had he accepted one of his other offers

Jon Heyman of SI.com first reported the agreement (Twitter links) after Dutton reported that the sides were nearing a deal.


Royals, Bruce Chen Progressing Toward Deal

The Royals appear to be progressing toward a new contract with Bruce Chen, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The Royals have offered Chen, a Type B free agent, arbitration in anticipation of tonight’s deadline for teams to offer deals to ranked free agents.

“I know he wants to be here, and we want him here,” GM Dayton Moore told Dutton. “The feeling is mutual. We’d like to get something done before the Winter Meetings. I think we’re getting closer.”

Chen appears to be asking for a two-year deal worth more than $10MM, according to Dutton. He has already obtained multiyear offers this offseason. The 34-year-old Scott Boras client posted a 3.77 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 155 innings for the Royals this past season. Moore says the Royals are looking to add one or two more pitchers to compete with their internal candidates, even after trading for left-hander Jonathan Sanchez.


Los Angeles Notes: Kuroda, Wilson, Dipoto, Colletti

Here's the latest from the City Of Angels (And Dodgers)….


Bruce Chen Weighing Multiyear Offers

Lefty Bruce Chen has multiyear offers, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  He says the Royals and Cubs are among the teams talking to Chen, with the Royals perhaps focused on him.

Chen, a 34-year-old Scott Boras client, has never had a multiyear deal in his career.  This year for the Royals he posted a 3.77 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9, and 34.6% groundball rate in 155 innings.


Quick Hits: CBA, Fielder, Francis, Rollins

Ryan Madson appeared to have a deal with the Phillies this time last night, but the sides haven't completed anything to date. Here are the details and here are your links for Wednesday night…


Rockies Interested In Millwood, Harden, Chen

The Rockies have expressed interest in free agent starters Kevin Millwood, Rich Harden, and Bruce Chen, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.  They'll also be exploring the trade market.

Millwood, 37 in December, finished the season with Colorado, making nine starts with a 3.98 ERA.  The Scott Boras client seeks a Major League deal, which Renck says makes this a "slow-developing situation."  Renck notes that the Rockies were among the finalists to sign Harden last year, though they viewed him as a reliever.

As for their second base opening, the Rockies have had internal conversations about free agent Aaron Hill, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.  Hill is also of interest to the Tigers, writes Lynn Henning of the Detroit News.  The Rockies also have interest in Jamey Carroll, Mark Ellis, and others, reported Renck previously.

For more on the Rockies' needs and finances, check out my offseason outlook.