According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Kansas City Royals are to set to bring Bruce Chen back for a fourth consecutive season, as Chen and the club have agreed on a two-year deal worth a reported $9 million. Chen played for the Royals in 2011 on a one-year $2 million contract.
The 34-year old Panama native posted arguably one of the best seasons of his 13-year major league career in 2011 when he went 12-8 with a 3.77 ERA. Included in those statistics were a 1.30 WHIP and 1.94 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his career with the Royals, Chen is 25-21 with a 4.28 ERA.
Chen joins a starting rotation that will for sure include newly acquired Jonathan Sanchez, Danny Duffy, and Luke Hochevar. Felipe Paulino appears to have the inside edge at the fifth spot, though Kansas City has mentioned previously that they would like to give reliever Aaron Crow a shot at the rotation. Crow had been a starter all the way up until this past season when he debuted with the club as a reliever, earning an All-Star nod.
As Matt Conner had written earlier in the day, Chen was going to be offered arbitration by the club, meaning the Royals would have netted a draft pick had Chen chosen an offer from another organization over sticking with Kansas City. While the $9 million figure seems high, it isn't a contract that will hurt Kansas City in any way for the future.