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Royals to Sign Bruce Chen

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 28: Bruce Chen #52 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning on September 28, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 28: Bruce Chen #52 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning on September 28, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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According to Jon Heyman, the Royals will sign left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen to a two-year contract worth $9MM, with a $1MM roster bonus and another $1MM in incentives. Chen, 34, put together solid numbers in 2010 and 2011, posting a 105 ERA+ in 48 starts (295 innings). The deal is currently pending a physical.

2012 will be Chen's fourteenth season in the majors, in what's been a long but mostly mediocre career. He has a career 4.52 ERA/5.03 FIP/4.71 xFIP in 1165 innings (169 starts). The new contract would likely double his career earnings, which is pretty remarkable.

His peripherals aren't particularly good, as he's posted a 4.74 xFIP over these past two seasons, but even so, he's managed to be rather productive, accumulating 2.9 fWAR and 4.6 rWAR over that time. Bill James projects Chen for a 4.22 ERA/4.63 FIP in 2012.

With the additions of Jonathan Sanchez and the return of Chen, the Royals now have considerable starting pitching depth.