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Red Sox still working to add last-minute Game 163 starter, targeting Bruce Chen

Sep 28, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

Kansas City's Chen winds up a pitch against Tampa Bay during their MLB baseball game in Kansas City

Boston’s attempt to trade for Chris Capuano last week failed, but Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Red Sox are still trying to acquire a veteran starting pitcher for a potential Game 163 tiebreaker tomorrow and one possible target is Bruce Chen of the Royals.

Their reported offer to the Mets for Capauno was a cash deal, so presumably the Red Sox offered the same to the Royals for Chen, who’s actually scheduled to start tonight against the Twins in Minnesota.

Tampa Bay has struggled against left-handed starters lately, so Chen–or any other veteran southpaw, really–would make sense as a last-second addition even though pitchers acquired this late wouldn’t be eligible for the postseason. Kansas City won’t know whether Boston will still want Chen for tomorrow until after he’s slated to take the mound tonight, so a late scratch would confirm that something is in the works.

On a related note: Anyone know where Pedro Martinez is right now?

UPDATE: Our own D.J. Short points out that Chen is currently projected to be a Type B free agent, in which case the Royals would seemingly need a decent prospect in return for passing up a draft pick.

  1. cur68 - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    This makes some sense. Chen is a quintessential crafty lefty. He gave the Beavermen holy hell when they saw him. He seems to have a good idea these days about how & when to throw breaking stuff and off speed. I like it. Hope to see this happen.

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    I am not sure that the Royals would want to give up a sandwich round draft pick. Their future depends on drafting well.

    • Tyree Studio - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Glass has all kinds of cash laying around (Thanks Gil Meche). Right now draft picks are far more valuable to kc than a check from Boston.

  3. Joe - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Go Sox!


    Has it really been eight years since Bruce chen donned a Red Sox uniform? Time flies.

    • Joe - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM


      That would have been a simple edit.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        Geez – I was about to bust on you for criticizing the capitalization error until I saw you were correcting yourself – I mean yourslef.

  4. markfrednubble - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    The Type B compensation draft pick for Chen should be a fairly big deal if you’re the Royals.

    ‘The other name I just heard was Ted Lilly — probably an even better choice.

    Incredible that it may come to this.

    • bloodysock - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      Lilly is scheduled to pitch tonight at Arizona.

  5. - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    in which case the Royals would seemingly need a decent prospect in return for passing up a draft pick.

    Very decent. It would be awesome if GMDM turned him for a prospect, and signed him in the off-season.

  6. spudchukar - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    There is something unseemly about this news. And the message it sends is disturbing. One can argue that the management is going all out to secure a playoff spot, but at some point a “team” must come together and outperform the opposition. Buying a pitcher for 1 game, may be smart to some, but it reeks of desperation, and turning to money when determination should be the answer.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      It is desperate. But it’s also necessary.

      Like me talking to my wife about coupons

    • mikedi33 - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      I agree with you 100%. Does not smell right. If the Yankees were trying to buy a pitcher foe a 1 game playoff against the Sox there would be all kinds of protests. I think MLB needs to look into some rule changes.

    • oikosjeremy - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:58 AM

      Yes, it reeks of desperation, but that doesn’t make it a bad move.

      Further, “determination” and “spending money” are not mutually exclusive. The Red Sox will need “determination” whether or not they are able to purchase Chen’s services. And if they do end up in a one-game playoff, they likely will need decent pitching to win, no matter how determined they are.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:16 PM

        Theo: oh of course Determination! Why did I not think of that. *picks up fake phone* Hi Ned? It’s Theo. Listen I really really reaaaaallly need a huge favor. I need to buy a pitcher for a possible game 163 because all of my other starters are gassed or plain suck, so I heard Ted Lilly is on the market. The thing is, I can only pay you in “Determination” do you accept that? No. Crying shame really….

    • Jack Marshall - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      There should be a rule against this, obviously. But in the Red Sox position, with no reliable starter on regular rest…make that “no reliable starter, period”…management would be negligent not to pursue every permissible option. Determination and team spirit are good, but they haven’t done a thing for the starting pitching for a month now.

    • Ari Collins - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM

      This is not a money issue, and this isn’t the Red Sox outspending others, since Chen makes peanuts. I’m sure Chen and his Type B status is available to anyone who wants to pony up a decent prospect for him.

      Nothing “unseemly” about it.

  7. Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    So a one-game playoff doesn’t follow playoff roster rules? Seems silly.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      I think the issue from the Sox standpoint is that, if there is a playoff game, Beckett would clearly need to start, which then would mean…

      John bleepin’ Lackey starts Game One of the playoffs.

      And if that happened, God help all Sox fans.

    • Joe - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      It would be a regular-season tiebreaker game, to see which team makes it to the playoffs. So it follows regular-season roster rules.

  8. BratLee - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Gives new meaning to the phrase “buying a pennant”. It’s a shame that there’s no one on the 40 man roster who can throw a pitch.

  9. ramsyanks - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    HAAAA! The Yankees would never stoop to such levels! 161 million dollar payroll and you do not have a starter on your roster you can give the ball to instead!!!! LOSERS!!!!!!!!

    Just throw SLACKEY LACKEY!

    • cur68 - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      Woooo. Another “comment of the day” candidate here, folks.

    • marinersnate - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      “HAAAA! The Yankees would never stoop to such levels! 161 million dollar payroll and you do not have a starter on your roster you can give the ball to instead!!!! LOSERS!!!!!!!!”

      Brian Gordon says hello.

      • mikhelb - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        “Brian Gordon says hello.”

        Ooh Brian Gordon of the 1.14 ERA in the minors with the Phillies who was released in june and signed by the Yankees to pitch in game 67 and 73 IN JUNE? oh yeah, that is soooo game 163 LOL

  10. Tyree Studio - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    As a Royals fan I’m getting a kick out of this. All that RedSox money and they are having to possibly call the lowly Royals about buying their number one starter Chen.

    The same Bruce Chen that any team could have signed in the offseason but no one (other than KC) wanted.

  11. proudlycanadian - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Why not sign Curt Schilling for one day and use him?

  12. seanmk - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM


  13. statsdonotlie - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Rays vs. RHP — .712 OPS
    Rays vs. LHP — .749 OPS

    Sorry Aaron, but your statement about the Rays being significantly less effective vs. LHP doesn’t hold up. I will welcome this trade.

    • Bryz - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      He said they’ve struggled against LHP lately, not all season.

    • mikhelb - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:24 PM

      Tampa Vs LHP:
      0.245 AVG / 0.333 OBP / 0.416 SLG / 0.749 OPS / 53 HR & 219 Runs in 1798 plate appearances

      Tampa Vs RHP:
      0.242 AVG / 0.316 OBP / 0.396 SLG / 0.716 OPS / 98 HR & 480 Runs in 4297 plate appearances

  14. apgreco - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    This is just pathetic. The sox tried to buy a pennant in the offseason and that did not work. What happened to that strong farm system? A desperate team and desperate organization. The sox fans and sox organization should be ashamed of themselves.

    • trotnixonisbestnixon - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:06 PM

      I’ll agree with the desperate nature of the organization right now, but to be ashamed? The Sox didn’t need to upgrade their rotation in the offseason, so they didn’t. One of their big moves blossomed, and one imploded, but neither did anything to directly hinder the 2011 rotation. Would they really be in a better situation had they kept Casey Kelly (who sported a 5.31 ERA at AA in 2010) for depth and not acquired Gonzalez? Buchholz’s broken back, Dice-K’s TJ surgery, and Lackey’s inconsistency mixed with Beckett and Lester dealing with lingering issues of their own means that their only “healthy” starter is Tim Wakefield. That’s nothing to be ‘ashamed’ of, that’s just poor luck.

      • apgreco - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        Whine…whine….whine. I heard in the off season what an amazing team you had and the best pitching staff in the majors? Where? Where is it? You signed Lackey to a ridiculous contract. He has the highest ERA for any starter in the majors!! You miss DiceK? Are u kidding me? This guy won 16 games in the last 3 years!! Crawford is a deer staring into headlights. Where is the depth in the farm system? Is the depth Weiland? He was awful. Is the depth Andrew Miller? Even Bard has been awful. Now you will have to resign Paplebon to a Mariano like contract. And who is your backup catcher? Who is your shortstop next year? Right Fielder next year? Your team has more holes in it than swiss cheese. Stop whining. I am laughing at the excuses. You did not give the Yanks a chance in the offseason……and we won the division 10 days ago.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:27 PM

        You’ve got some serious problems, pal.

        Where the hell was the whining in his post? He logically explained the problems with the Sox staff and you go berserk, screaming like an unhinged lunatic.

        Enjoy your stay in Bellevue.

      • apgreco - Sep 28, 2011 at 5:01 PM

        Grow up aceshigh11 and he WAS whining and making excuses. I know you are upset that the team of the century is about to get eliminated from the playoffs but calling names is kinda immature, don’t ya think? Good teams figure how to overcome injuries and win. The Yanks lost half their bullpen (Chamberlain, Feliciano and Marte) for the entire season and other players stepped up. Pettitte retired and we replaced him. Hughes was hurt most of the year and we replaced him. Believe me, I was not yelling and I am far from being ‘unhinged’ . You see, my team is already in the playoffs. If I want to hear lunactics I just turn on Boston sports radio. You are probably on hold as we speak.

      • mikhelb - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:27 PM

        LOL the same Casey Kelley bosox fans were calling ‘a great prospect who got traded for Adri├ín’? yet when it comes the time to talk about how he could have helped had he not been traded, it surfaces how he wasn’t all that good LOL.

  15. - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    I’m confused. Chen is on a one year deal with the Royals. If he’s traded why does it matter what type of FA he is to the Royals?

    The Royals would have to renegotiate with him anyway.

    • mikhelb - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:32 PM

      Being a free agent, if the Royals can’t sign him, they will get a draft pick compensation, if he’s traded they have to get a player comparable in value to what they would otherwise could have drafted… if i am not mistaken, the sox would instead get said pick if they acquire him and do not re-sign him (which would be a sweet deal for boston if they only give money or send a washed-up has-been player with no future in the organization and they end up drafting someone who could help them in two or three years from now).

  16. Panda Claus - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    The girls all get prettier at closing time. – Mickey Gilley

    Is this much different than stopping at the gas station to find a date on the way to the prom? Hey, Bruce, can we stop by the sporting goods store along the way so we can buy you a dress, err, uniform? Don’t mind those stick-on letters on the back, they should last one game.

    • nolanwiffle - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

      Enough with this Bruce Chen nonsense! We wanna hear how your prom night ended….

  17. tmohr - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    They better work fast, since the game starts in five hours and a flight from Minneapolis takes about two hours.

    • mikhelb - Sep 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM

      Game 163 will be on Thursday.

  18. danandcasey - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Is Wilson Valdez not available?

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM


  19. dailyrev - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Jamie Moyer’s only about 70 yrs. old. I saw an interview with him during a Seattle game back in June or July — he had just had TJ surgery earlier this yr. and was talking about coming back. By the end of the interview I still wasn’t sure whether or not he was serious…

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:48 PM

      He is absolutely serious. Moyer is even working out at the Phillies Clearwater training facility prepping for the 2012 season.

  20. Joe - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    I just hope they give up a decent prospect for him, then lose tonight while the Rays win….


  21. xmatt0926x - Sep 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Good lord. If your depending on Bruce Chen to guide you through you may as well just fold up right now. Chen is right where he belongs. You put him in a tough environment and he will crash and burn. You sign Gonzalez and Crawford, have a $170 million payroll and your hoping Bruce friggin Chen can save your season. Wow how the mighty have fallen.

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