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Free agent starter Bruce Chen already has three suitors

Nov 3, 2011, 10:06 PM EDT

bruce chen ap AP

From Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star comes word that free agent left-hander Bruce Chen has already drawn “serious” interest from three different clubs this offseason, one being the Royals.

Chen posted a respectable 3.77 ERA and 1.30 WHIP across 25 starts during the 2011 regular season.

He only struck out 97 batters in 155 innings and he owns an ugly 4.52 career ERA, but the market for starting pitchers this winter is incredibly weak and the 34-year-old southpaw should benefit greatly.

Chen is known to be seeking a multi-year deal. His salary demands, however, are not yet clear.

  1. sknut - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    If pitching against the Twins is any indication, the three teams could be White Sox, Indians and Tigers. Dude was lights out against them last year.

    • nprakash5 - Nov 6, 2011 at 5:59 AM

      actually the article does say one of the 3 is the Royals

  2. cosanostra71 - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Chen isn’t an ace, but he is very solid and could be a good #2. the Yankees and Jays should make bids if they are smart

    • JBerardi - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:11 AM

      Chen’s a #5 with some #4 upside. And, in his mid 30s, also carries with him the threat of a complete collapse.

      • Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:44 AM

        What pitcher, no… player, no…. person, doesn’t carry with them a threat of a complete collapse? That’s just silly.

      • JBerardi - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:51 AM

        “What pitcher, no… player, no…. person, doesn’t carry with them a threat of a complete collapse?”

        I dunno. Is it Bear Grylls?

        Obviously any pitcher can collapse. Chen just carries a greater risk of it because A) he’s older than therefore more prone to slipping a bit, talent wise, and B) as a marginal starter, he can’t afford to give away much talent before he’s simply out of the league.

  3. halladaysbiceps - Nov 3, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Question for who can answer it. In the summary above, I clicked Bruce Chen’s name and was directed to rotoworld. I was looking at his career stats, which they have listed year by year, but they don’t tabulate his career totals at the bottom of those stats. Is there a reason for this omission? It’s kind of odd.

  4. pisano - Nov 3, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    The best bet for Chen is long relief or if a team is really desperate, a fifth starter. This guy never really had much even in his prime. I don’t see any contender giving him a look.

  5. xmatt0926x - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    Mothers, raise your kids to be bad/mediocre lefthanders.

    • JBerardi - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:14 AM

      “Bad” is a relative term. He’s still been one of the top 150 or so starting pitchers in the world the past decade. If you can raise your kid to be among the best 150 whoevers in the world, you’re doing pretty well.

  6. Joe - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:29 AM

    4.52 isn’t a pretty ERA, but it’s far from ugly. It’s almost exactly league average (97 career OPS+). That’s not 8-digit territory, but given the way he’s pitched the last two years, he seems worth $5 million or so.

  7. Tyree Studio - Nov 4, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Chen has never really had “dominate” stuff, so worrying about a drop-off is not an issue. He’s actually getting better with age. He’s learning how to mix pitches and really keep hitters guessing. Ask Ozzie G. what he thinks about Chen. We Royals fan joke that he’s our Jamie Moyer.

    On a good team he’s a 5th, maybe 4th starter, on KC he’s been the ace the past two seasons.

  8. sportsdrenched.com - Nov 4, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    I think as thin as KC pitching has been, they have to sign him, and if a second year is a disaster…that’s just the cost of doing business.

    • Tyree Studio - Nov 4, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      If the second year is a disaster then you move him into the pen as a lefty specialist or mop-up guy.

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