The Kansas City Royals have agreed to re-sign left-hander Bruce Chen to a one-year deal that includes a mutual option for 2015, according to an industry source. The deal will pay Chen $3M in 2014, and includes a $5.5M mutual option or $1.25M buyout for 2015 along with $1.25M in performance bonuses, bringing the total guaranteed value of the deal to $4.25M, according to the source.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com was first to report that the deal was in place, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reporting financial terms.
Chen, 36, was 9-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 34 appearances (15 starts) with the Royals last season in his fifth year with the team. He will likely serve as a swingman again in 2014, providing depth to the Royals' rotation while also having the ability to pitch out of the bullpen. He has seen most of his time in Kansas City as a starter, but has been versatile throughout his career, appearing in 218 games as a starter and 167 as a reliever.
Chen was also linked to the Rangers and Orioles this offseason, but ultimately decided to return to Kansas City after expressing publicly expressing his desire to return at the end of the season. In fifteen major league seasons with the Braves (1998-2000), Phillies (2000-2001), Mets (2001-2002), Expos (2002), Reds (2002), Astros (2003), Red Sox (2003), Orioles (2004-2006), Rangers (2007) and Royals (2009-2013), Chen has posted a lifetime 80-76 record and 4.49 ERA in 1,477.1 innings of work.