The Kansas City Royals appear to have wrapped up one more of their 2012 rotation spots just before the Thanksgiving holiday, as the club has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with left-hander Bruce Chen. While nothing has been formally announced, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star hears that Chen is set to make $9 million over the next two years.
Dutton spoke with Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who said a deal isn’t done yet, but that both sides were “getting close”. Moore knows that Chen “wants to be” in Kansas City, and says the feelings are mutual.
At this point, the deal Kansas City has in place for Chen includes a base salary of $4.5 million in 2012-13. Dutton also believes that Chen’s new deal includes $1 million in built-in incentives each year.
Throughout the offseason, Chen indicated that he had an interest in returning to Kansas City. Chen said that he and the Royals have always had a “real good relationship”. From the onset of free agency, Chen hoped that he and the Royals could “get something done”.
After his solid 2011, Chen found himself with several suitors this offseason. Instead of leaving the Royals, it looks like Chen is set to more than double last year’s $2 million salary in 2012-13.
With Chen back in the fold, the Royals have a starting five that, for the time being, includes Chen, Jonathan Sanchez, Luke Hochevar, Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy. Moore indicated that Paulino and Duffy will have to battle to hold onto spots in the back end of Kansas City’s rotation, facing competition from Aaron Crow, Everett Teaford, Luis Mendoza and Mike Montgomery.
Moore noted that his club certainly has “some quality depth” which will allow Kansas City to hold “an open competition” this spring. Moore also knows that his team lacks front-of-the-rotation talent and told Dutton that the Royals are “still looking to add another pitcher”.
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