Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Will Bruce Chen stay in KC?
By Doug Mittler
One of the pleasant surprises for the Kansas City Royals this season was Bruce Chen, the veteran lefthander who seems to have found the fountain of youth at age 36.
Following an uneven 2012 season, Chen bounced back to win nine games with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.182 WHIP, his best mark in nine years.
Look up the word journeyman in the dictionary and you could find a picture of Chen, who has pitched for 10 different teams since making his debut for the Braves in 1998. The Royals may want the free-agent-to-be to remain in Kansas City, and it could very well happen if he is offered a deal similar to his last contract (two years, $9 million), says Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
Retaining Chen will be an even greater importance if the Royals are unable to re-sign Ervin Santana, who should attract plenty of suitors on the open market.
In a refreshing change of pace, the Royals can offer a free agent the opportunity to sign with a team with realistic postseason aspirations. On Tuesday, the club displayed some additional stability by agreeing to a contract extension with manager Ned Yost.
In fact, ESPN Insider’s Jim Bowden predicts the Royals will be playing October baseball in 2014:
Jim BowdenThese teams won't miss playoffs in 2014
"With more than 40 comeback victories this year, the young Royals built some much-needed confidence and swagger. They proved to themselves they can win, but more importantly, they also proved it to Royals fans, who now believe in this team and will support it in 2014."