Royals sign veteran left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen
The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has signed left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen to a one-year contract for the 2014 season, with a mutual option for 2015. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. In a corresponding roster move, infielder Emilio Bonifacio was designated for assignment.
Chen, 36, completed his fifth season with the Royals in 2013, going 9-4 with a 3.27 ERA (44 ER in 121.0 IP) in 34 appearances (15 starts). The veteran southpaw worked out of the bullpen worked out of the bullpen the first three months of the season, before earning a spot in the rotation on July 12. He posted a 5-0 mark and a 1.62 ERA (13 ER in 72.1 IP) from the start of the year to August 17. Chen held right-handed hitters to a .224 average (67-for-299), which was the third-lowest season total by a left-handed hurler in club history, trailing only Vida Blue (.220 in 1982) and Larry Gura (.222 in 1981).
Chen will enter his 16th Major League season in 2014 with Kansas City being his 10th stop. He has also pitched for Atlanta (1998-2000), Philadelphia (2000-01), the Mets (2001-02), Montreal (2002), Cincinnati (2002), Houston (2003), Boston (2003), Baltimore (2004-06) and Texas (2007). The lefty is 80-76 in 385 big league outings (218 starts). He needs three more wins to pass Mariano Rivera (82) for the most Major League wins by a pitcher born in Panama.
Bonifacio, 28, was traded to the Royals on August 14 of last season, batting .285 (45-for-158) with 16 stolen bases in 42 games with Kansas City.