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As Red Sox rumors swirled Bruce Chen stayed with Royals and threw eight shutout innings

Sep 29, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

Bruce Chen AP

Yesterday was filled with rumors about the Red Sox working on a trade for Bruce Chen to start a potential Game 163 tiebreaker, but instead the Royals left-hander took the mound as scheduled for his start against the Twins … and tossed eight shutout innings.

Oh, and it turns out the Red Sox didn’t need a starter today anyway.

Ken Rosenthal of first reported the possibility of Chen going to Boston and Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes that the two sides worked on a deal throughout the day, but couldn’t come to terms. Presumably had they been relatively close to finding common ground in the trade talks the Royals would have pulled Chen from the meaningless start just in case.

Chen said afterward that he hoped the trade to Boston would happen because he’s “always wanted to help a team” reach the playoffs and “you want to be the guy.” Plus, as an impending free agent there’s no guarantee the 34-year-old will remain in Kansas City anyway. As a Type B free agent he’d bring back a compensatory draft pick upon signing elsewhere, so Dutton reports that the Royals requested a pair of prospects in return.

  1. Rob Hoffmann - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    The idea of trading for a player to play only in a tiebreaker game would seem to be a loophole that MLB should close, quickly.

    Maybe it’s time to treat a tiebreaker as what it is — a playoff game — which means using playoff roster rules.

    Fortunately, the Red Sox’ collapse deferred the issue, but the opportunity will be there again unless MLB (stuns us all and) does something proactive to prevent it.

    • kopy - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      It seems like a loophole, but it really is just what it is – a trade for the last day of the season. Would it have been any different if Chen started for the Red Sox last night? Chen wouldn’t have been eligible to play for the Red Sox in the playoffs anyway, so if a team really wants to give up value in a trade like this for one day I say let them.

      You figure that any player worth trading for will either have years left under control, or be a type A or B free agent, so it’s not like there would be any trades so cheap that it seems ridiculous.

  2. wlschneider09 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Chen may have thrown 8 shutout innings, but he did it against the Twins, who can’t hit lefties even when they have their major league lineup.

  3. deep64blue - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    The trade deadline should be a hard deadline – if the player’s not in your organisation on 31st July he shouldn’t be eligible to play that season.

  4. randall351 - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Wouldn’t he of had to pass through waivers to get to the Red Sox? Doesn’t that go by standings? And if so, would the Rays have been able to claim Chen prior to him getting to the Sox, or another team for that matter? Then they could of just not come to terms with a trade to basically just block the Sox from getting Chen.
    If I’m the Blue Jays or something I would of claimed him just to screw with the Red Sox plans.
    Or am I missing something here?

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