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Tag:Bruce Chen
Posted on: January 11, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 10:49 am
 

Royals searching for starters

Much to his dismay, it appears Royals general manager Dayton Moore has remembered he must field a team in 2011 -- one with hitters and pitchers.

Bruce Chen So far the Royals rotation is Vin Mazzaro, Luke Hochevar, Kyle Davies and Sean O'Sullivan. The team needs a fifth starter (or first or second or third or fourth, depending on how you look at it) for next season, but with an influx of talent due in Kansas City in 2012, Moore isn't looking to give out a multi-year deal to anyone.

Moore told MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that he's only looking at starting pitching at this point in the offseason. There's little on the free-agent market, but the team could bring back Bruce Chen.

"We're still open-minded with that," Moore told Kaegel. "He performed very well with us last year and showed us what he had, and we've got a comfort level there."

Chen, 33, went 12-7 with a 4.17 ERA in 23 starts for the Royals last season. Chen is a Scott Boras client and has apparently been eyeing a multi-year deal following his good 2010, but his status as a free agent shows that nobody is biting, even in a pitching-poor market.

Or Kansas City could look to trade, although it's unlikely the team would give up too much for a short-term solution.

"It's something that we'll continue to look at, and it might be Spring Training or early next year," Moore said. "You're always looking to get better, so it's not out of the question we might make some kind of move and pitching is one of those areas where you can never have enough depth. And we don't want to be in a position where we're force-feeding some of those kids, either."

Still, some of those kids -- Aaron Crow, John Lamb and Danny Duffy -- could get an extended look during spring training.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: October 11, 2010 6:31 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 10:33 am
 

R.I.P. Royals: Help is on the way

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Kansas City Royals

Oh Royals, through the 70s and 80s, the team was the model franchise. Since the turn of the century, the team's only been a punchline. That wasn't much different in 2010.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Yuniesky Betancourt Ewing Kauffman died in 1993. That's been the reason for the last 17 years of failure.

Oh, on the field? This year? Beyond Yuniesky Betancourt (pictured) being the team's shortstop? OK, Zack Greinke took a step back from his Cy Young 2009. Worse, he looked like another guy in a Royals uniform -- and that's not a good thing. Greinke went 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

How about Bruce Chen? Chen was 12-7 with a 4.17 ERA (the same as Greinke) -- but if you're looking long-term success, you're not betting on Chen.

Other positives? Joakim Soria may have been the best closer in the game, even if he didn't have too many games to close. Soria finished with 43 saves, a 1.78 ERA and 71 strikeouts and 16 walks in 65 2/3 innings.

The team also got rid of overpaid veterans like Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Guillen, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel.

HELP ON THE WAY

Oh, is there ever.

Mike Moustakas The Royals have the deepest minor league system in the majors. Of Baseball America's 15-man Minor League All-Star Team, a full third were Royals.

The Royals are deep in position players (first baseman Eric Hosmer, catcher Wil Myers and third baseman Mike Moustakas (pictured)) and pitchers (lefty starters John Lamb and Mike Montgomery, reliever Tim Collins).

That's the good news, the bad news is with all this talent, it's still not ready for the big leagues in 2011, maybe 2012.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

Same as they always are in Kansas City -- grim. As noted, there's help on the way and maybe some of those guys can make their debut late in the season, but this won't be the season for the Royals to make a move. There is a brighter days ahead, but they aren't in the 10-day forecast.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Don't raise ticket prices, because it's going to be another long year.

Greinke has started griping about not wanting to wait around for the Royals to get better, but he's still under contract through 2012. There's no reason to trade him this offseason, his value is lower than it should be and the asking price will be better in 2011 -- either at the trade deadline or after the season.

The Royals have already picked up the $6 million club option for outfielder David DeJesus, and he'll certainly bring something at the trade deadline next year.

There will certainly be plenty of suitors trying to pick up Soria, who is under team control through 2014. Listen, but unless bowled over for a deal, he's too valuable and under control for too long to move.

No fan is going to want to hear that they need patience, but there is actually hope for the Royals after so long without it. If half their prospects turn out as expected, they'll be the new Rays.

2011 PREDICTION

Same as it ever was. The Royals will be out of the picture by the All-Star break, and Ned Yost may even worry about his job. The only drama in September will be whether this team loses 100 games. But this time next year, there may be some excitement for 2012.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 26, 2010 4:14 pm
 

Bruce Chen enjoying resurgent year

Bruce Chen At one point, Bruce Chen was yet another young, talented starter coming through the Braves system.

The Panama City native has since suffered a nomadic career, spending 12 seasons across 13 years with 10 teams.

Chen, however, has found a home in Kansas City after missing most of 2007 and all of 2008 thanks to elbow-reconstruction surgery and wants to stay even as he is an impending free agent.

Loyalty is a factor, Chen tells the Kansas City Star , because K.C. gave him a chance in 2009 and again in this past offseason on minor-league deals with not many other teams interested.

"I would like to see what’s available," Chen of the free-agent market, "but it’s not always all about money. I like this organization, and I like this team. They have treated me very well."

Chen posted an ugly 5.78 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances last season for K.C., and when the 33-year-old stepped into the rotation, a little bit of hope died in every Royals fan.

However, Chen has rebounded by posting 11 wins, tying him for the most wins by a Royals left-hander since Charlie Leibrandt posted 13 in 1988 (along with Floyd Bannister 's 12).

"Definitely, I would like to be back," the lefty reiterated. "That’s for sure. I like everything about this organization. I like the direction. I like the front office. I like the coaching staff, especially [pitching coach] Bob McClure. He’s been great."

Chen attributes his 11-7 season with a 4.69 ERA in 124 2/3 innings to dropping his arm slot. His fastball now appears lower in the strike zone along with his other pitches, but interestingly enough, the change hasn't been drastic in terms of strikeout percentage, walk percentage, home run percentage or even groundball percentage.

It's working, however, and Chen is now a viable back-of-the-rotation starter.

"He’s finally understanding how to add, subtract and move balls around," manager Ned Yost said. "He’s really pitched."

However, the Royals may not need Chen as the team is ready to segue into its young pitching, several options of which are left-handed. Given that, it's unlikely Chen would receive anything more than a one-year offer -- if even that.

But after the season he's had, he'll get a job offer somewhere, somehow.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
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