Beginning in 2009 the Royals were Bruce Chen’s tenth major league team during his career. Now the Royals signed him to a one year, $2 million deal and he’ll join Jeff Francis in the Royals rotation in 2011. This is only the second time Chen has played for the same team three years in a row since his career began in 1998.
Chen had a good but not great season for the Royals. He won a team high 12 games but his 4.17 ERA and 1.375 WHIP were decent enough. Chen would probably be a back of the rotation guy for most teams but until some of the Royals younger talent steps up, Chen will most likely be a front of the rotation guy for the Royals.
The Royals are close to filling the void after the Zach Greinke trade as they look to be closer to a one year deal with Jeff Francis. Money wasn’t released but Francis is a quality left hander who’s number may be a little overblown after he’s pitched in the more hitter friendly Coors Field. Francis missed all of 2009 and came back in 2010 to a mediocre season. His last good year was back in 2007 when he won 17 games.
Francis isn’t a front of the rotation starter anymore like Zach Greinke was but it provides us with a reliable stop gap until some of these prospects we traded for move up the ladder. On top of that, it’s low risk because it’s only a one year deal so it’ll be interesting to see how Francis pitches in the more pitching neutral Kauffman Stadium.
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