Aug 18, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Bruce Chen (52) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Chen, Royals agree to 1-year contract

The Kansas City Royals have added another name to the mix for the rotation.

Free agent Bruce Chen, who pitched for the Royals last season, returns to the club on a one-year, $4.25 million guaranteed contract. The deal will pay Chen $3.25 million for 2014, with a $5.5 million mutual option for 2015. Should that option not be exercised, the Royals will pay Chen a $1 million buyout. There will also be performance-based incentives; Chen will earn another $125,000 per start beginning with his sixteenth game started.

The lefty Chen epitomized what most clubs want out of a swing-man, long-relief pitcher. He went 9-4 with a 3.27 ERA, making 15 starts and 19 relief appearances. He pitched a total of 121 innings a year after he made a career-high 34 starts and pitching in 191.2 innings. Despite a very low velocity fastball, Chen has become a centerpiece of the Royals’ pitching staff, working primarily as a starter for the club before struggles at the end of 2013 forced him into the swing-man role.

The Royals’ rotation will feature James Shields, Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Vargas, and Danny Duffy. In competition with the 15-year veteran Chen for spot number five will be Yordano Ventura, Luke Hochevar, and Wade Davis.

Tags: Kansas City Royals

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