With the recent report that Bruce Chen has officially cleared waivers, the MLB trade deadline is a moot point for the Kansas City Royals when it comes to their options with Bruce Chen. In short, if a team wants him, they can trade him at any time.
The question for the Royals is pretty simple: Will a team be willing to trade something for Chen's services? Thus far this season, the 34-year-old has a 7-5 record with a 4.15 ERA, his lowest since 2005. He's started 16 games this season with 93+ total innings, walking 34 and striking out 58. Yet those who look closer would note his peripherals which aren't that impressive, with a higher hits per nine innings rate and lower strikeout rates than the last few years, meaning that he might not have as much stuff -- and he's not a pitcher who had a lot in the first place.
Then again, a team going down the stretch might want a veteran arm to get them through September and into the playoffs -- not for Chen's dominating ability but simply for a healthy arm to take the ball every five days. Going the rookie route can blow up in your face, so if Chen can keep his team close for five starts in the last month of the season, that's worth a low-level prospect to make it work.
For the Royals, some further pitching help would be readily accepted in exchange for Chen, so we're predicting the Royals will eventually trade Chen to a contender for a live arm from Single-A ball somewhere.