Bruce Chen Rumors
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:
- The Blue Jays offered arbitration to Frank Francisco (B), Kelly Johnson (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick), Jose Molina (B) and Jon Rauch (B), according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (on Twitter). They declined to offer Shawn Camp (B) arbitration.
- The Red Sox announced that they offered David Ortiz (A) and Dan Wheeler (B) arbitration. They declined to offer Jason Varitek (B) arbitration. Jonathan Papelbon (A) already signed with the Phillies.
- The Yankees offered Freddy Garcia (B) arbitration according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch (on Twitter).
- The Royals offered Bruce Chen (B) arbitration, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- The White Sox announced they've offered arbitration to Mark Buehrle (B) and not Juan Pierre (B).
- The Athletics announced David DeJesus (B) and Josh Willingham (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) were offered arbitration.
- The Rangers announced C.J. Wilson (A) will be offered arbitration. Modified Type B free agent Darren Oliver does not require an offer.
- The Orioles announced they will not offer arbitration to Vladimir Guerrero (B).
- Twins GM Terry Ryan said today on a conference call that he will offer arbitration to Michael Cuddyer (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) and Jason Kubel (B), and noted that no arbitration offer is necessary for modified Type B free agent Matt Capps.
Teams with decisions still due:
- 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).
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 Hochevar, Felipe 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.
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.
Here's the latest from the City Of Angels (And Dodgers)....
- Ned Colletti wants to bring back Hiroki Kuroda next season, but isn't sure if the Dodgers can afford him or if Kuroda will return to Japan, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles.
- The Dodgers' major offseason moves could be wrapping up but Jerry Dipoto's first offseason as Angels GM is just beginning, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times.
- From that same piece, DiGiovanna notes the club will look at "second-tier starters" like Kuroda, Aaron Harang, Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen and Roy Oswalt. Kuroda, Harang and Francis are also known to be on the Dodgers' list of pitching options.
- Of bigger-name starters, the Angels have been connected to C.J. Wilson this winter, but Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles wonders if the Angels' courtship of Wilson just a "smokescreen" intended to drive up Wilson's price for the Rangers. I'm not sure this tactic would specifically work on the Rangers given how they seem prepared to let Wilson leave if his price gets too high, but it could force one of Wilson's several other suitors to up their offer.
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.
- We heard last night that the players and owners made significant progress toward a new collective bargaining agreement. The sides could complete a CBA this week, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick polled MLB executives on some fun baseball questions and the results are worth checking out. The executives preferred Prince Fielder to Albert Pujols over the life of a long-term contract and their response suggests Rays left-hander Matt Moore is every bit as coveted as Stephen Strasburg.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law explains that Aramis Ramirez is the top free agent third baseman of the offseason, but cautions that Ramirez's new team "will either have to live with below-average defense at third or contemplate moving him to first or to DH." I examined the trade and free agent market for third base late last month.
- Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette says he expects to add people to his front office before the Winter Meetings take place in early December, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Duquette has been impressed by director of baseball operations Matt Klentak.
- The Royals are open-minded regarding a possible return for free agent left-hander Jeff Francis, GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The Royals would prefer to sign Bruce Chen, according to Dutton.
- Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies have had preliminary contract talks, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link). The shortstop continues to seek a five-year deal.
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.
We’ve known for a while that the Royals’ offseason will revolve around their hunt for starting pitching. GM Dayton Moore made a major move today, obtaining Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera. Here are some notes on the trade, plus a look at what’s next for Kansas City:
- Royals GM Dayton Moore indicated to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that his top prospect position players will stay put this offseason (Twitter link).
- Moore told reporters he’d like to re-sign Bruce Chen, according to MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes (on Twitter).
- The Royals are still looking for starting pitching after today’s trade, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter). However, the Braves don't appear to be a fit any longer, since the Royals will rely on Lorenzo Cain in center field and are reluctant to part with Wil Myers.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explains that Sanchez's reliance on high pitches makes him a decent role player, rather than a "long term rotation savior."
Justin Verlander was the big winner as the 2011 Players Choice Awards were announced today. Verlander's peers selected him as both the 2011 AL Outstanding Pitcher and the 2011 Player Of The Year. Could this be an omen for the AL MVP result in a few weeks?
Here's some other news from the AL Central...
- Bruce Chen tells Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he has already received calls from two teams interested in the veteran southpaw. Despite this outside interest, Chen says he wishes to remain with the Royals. "Kansas City has expressed numerous times that they would like to sign me back,” Chen said. “We have a real good relationship, and we’re making progress."
- There is "some talk" that Tony La Russa could become a consultant with the White Sox, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). La Russa, who managed the Sox from 1979-86, would work with rookie manager Robin Ventura.
- Mark Buehrle is "wide-open" to the possibility of joining a number of different teams, his agent Jeff Berry tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Buehrle has said in the past that he only wished to pitch for the White Sox or his home-state Cardinals, but also said last month that he would be interested in pitching in the National League for the first time in his career.
- Unlike last winter, the Tigers will take their time in perusing the free agent market this offseason, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- A few tweaks at third base, backup catcher and the bullpen could be all it takes to push the Tigers to a championship next year, writes Jamie Samuelsen of the Detroit Free Press.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian discusses the Indians' plans for third base next year, the chances of Kosuke Fukudome re-signing in Cleveland and other topics in a reader mailbag.