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Saturday, February 01, 2014

Royals Re-Sign Bruce Chen

The Royals will bring back free agent swingman Bruce Chen after agreeing to terms on a one-year, $4.25MM deal that includes a $5.5MM mutual option for 2015. The 36-year-old lefty, a client of the Boras Corporation, will earn $3.25MM in 2014 and is also promised a $1MM buyout on the option. He can also make an additional $1.25MM in performance bonuses.

On May 11, Chen will qualify for ten-and-five rights.  Is that ten years or ten teams?

Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 01, 2014 at 06:17 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals

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   1. Spivey Posted: February 01, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4649933)
Bruce Chen is like a villain in a horror movie. He just won't die.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4649938)
To make room for him, Royals DFA Emilio Bonifacio. They had just agreed to a $3.5 mill deal with him, now they get off the hook and pay only 1/6 of that salary (unless they trade him).

Chen is not a terrible option to compete for the 5th spot in the rotation. Ned Yost has said Chen is already his #4.


Bruce Chen is like a villain in a horror movie. He just won't die.


It would be kinda neat to see him go on a Jaime Moyer-like career path now.
   3. puck Posted: February 01, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4649939)
Chen peaked as the #4 prospect for Baseball America (according to BB-ref anyway).

And just like clockwork he spat out a 15 year (and counting) career.
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4649948)
I remember the ess-itement in Atlanta in the late 90s with Chen & Kevin Millwood as young pheenoms that would take over for the big 3, who were all in their early 30' s by then. And, to be fair, Millwood DID have one very good year, but then--pphhhffft

I was surprised to see that Milwood pitched until 2012
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4649950)
I'm not sure which is crazier - that Duffy and Ventura are going to be competing for one rotation spot, or that there's a possibility that neither one will be the choice.

Looking at Royals transactions is like something right out of the bad old Dave Littlefield era from the Pirates. You guys have my sympathy, for whatever it's worth.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4649951)
And, to be fair, Millwood DID have one very good year, but then--pphhhffft


That's not really fair. Millwood had four full seasons in a rotation with an ERA+ of 120 or better. That's a very good career by just about anyone's standards.
   7. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4649955)
It wasn't just Chen and Millwood in the Braves' system. They also had Odalis Perez, Kevin McGlinchy, and eventually Jason Marquis.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4649959)
They also had Odalis Perez


It's weird how Perez just fell out of baseball overnight. He was a fairly solid back-of-the-rotation lefty in 2008, but for whatever reason he couldn't get a ML contract offer that offseason, and then after he held out on the Nats in the spring, it was like all 30 teams scratched his name out of the big book.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: February 01, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4649968)
I've said this before, but Bruce Chen finding a home in KC has been a huge disappointment. A lefthander who had pitched for 10 teams by age 32 had a chance to take the most teams played for record to unreachable heights.

   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 01, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4649978)
I'm not sure which is crazier - that Duffy and Ventura are going to be competing for one rotation spot, or that there's a possibility that neither one will be the choice.

Here's one thing those two guys have to improve.
   11. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4649982)
Of the top 14 players with the most franchises played for (at least 11 different franchises), there are eleven players whose careers overlapped Bruce Chen's for at least 10 seasons:

Bruce Chen (10 franchises, 1998-2013) never played on the same team with:

- Matt Stairs (12 franchises)
- Henry Blanco (11 franchises,)
- Miguel Batista (11 franchises)
- Dennys Reyes (11 franchises)
- Julian Tavares (11 franchises)
- Royce Clayton (11 franchises)

Of the five that did play with Chen:
- Paul Bako (11 franchises) played with him on the 2000 Atlanta Braves
- Kenny Lofton (11 franchises) played with him on the 2007 Texas Rangers
- Octavio Dotel (13 franchises), Ron Villone (12 franchises), and Rick White (11 franchises) all played with Bruce Chen on the 2003 Houston Astros.

Those 2003 Houston Astros were a collecting ground for wandering players:

Octavio Dotel (13)
Ron Villone (12)
Rick White (11)
Bruce Chen (10)
Dan Miceli (10)
Gregg Zaun (9)
Jose Vizcaino (8)
Orlando Merced (7)
Julio Lugo (7)
and three or four more who played for 6 franchises in their career.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4649984)
Those 2003 Houston Astros were a collecting ground for wandering players:


Including the only two players* that played together on four separate teams (Jeff Kent and Vizcaino).

* That I found anyway.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4649988)
Here's one thing those two guys have to improve.


If there's any team well-positioned to handle two five-inning starters, you'd think it'd be the Royals, who have solid bullpen arms coming out of their ears. Louis Coleman had trouble even making the 25-man roster, for gosh sakes.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4649990)
1. I love this thread so far.

2. This is arguably one of the nerdiest (baseball edition) thread we have ever had.... and that is including the fact that we currently have a thread in which we are comparing the best teams of players involved in a trade of one player..

   15. PreservedFish Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:44 PM (#4649992)
To make room for him, Royals DFA Emilio Bonifacio. They had just agreed to a $3.5 mill deal with him, now they get off the hook and pay only 1/6 of that salary (unless they trade him).


How rude!
   16. flournoy Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4649994)
Including the only two players* that played together on four separate teams (Jeff Kent and Vizcaino).

* That I found anyway.


Keep your eye on Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar. Three teams and counting.

By the way,
OPS+ with Atlanta: Johnson 103, Escobar 105
OPS+ with Toronto: Johnson 90, Escobar 93
OPS+ with Tampa Bay: Johnson 99, Escobar 97
   17. Davo Dozier Posted: February 02, 2014 at 06:03 AM (#4650024)
Those 2003 Houston Astros were a collecting ground for wandering players:

12. Including the only two players* that played together on four separate teams (Jeff Kent and Vizcaino).

* That I found anyway.


This is a pretty ridiculous pull, I was able to find two other players who were teammates on five separate teams.

Those two players: Gus Weyhing and Lave Cross. And unless you're really familiar with turn-of-the-century baseball, what I'm about to write won't make much sense.

To start, the two were teammates on the original 1889 Philadelphia Athletics. These Athletics have no relation to the modern-day Oakland Athletics; the 1889 Philadelphia Athletics played in the American Association. After that season, Cross and Weyhing jumped to the Player's League, but landed on different teams: Weyhing pitched for the Brooklyn Ward's Wonders, while Cross...well, Cross switched teams and played for the Philadelphia Athletics. Yes...he switched from the American Association Philadelphia Athletics to the Player's League Philadelphia Athletics.

So, in 1890, there were technically two teams called the Philadelphia Athletics: One playing in the American Association (with no Lave Cross), while the other played in the Player's League (with Lave Cross). However, the loss of so many of their players really hurt the American Association Athletics--by the end of the season, they were pretty much just using pick-up players just to field a team. After the season finished, the American Association decided to expel the Philadelphia Athletics--so that was their last season in existence.

However, some of you might remember that the Player's League only lasted one season, too: They folded after the 1890 season. Most of the teams just merged with their National League counterparts, but two decided to join the American Association for the 1891 season. One was the Boston Reds. The other....the Philadelphia Athletics. So, that team--the Player's League Philadelphia Athletics With Lave Cross--switched over to join the American Association for 1891 (1891 would be the American Association's final year, too).

You can probably guess why I had to explain this in so much detail. Once the Brooklyn Ward's Wonders folded, Gus Weyhing needed a job, and, whaddayaknow, he wound up taking one with the Philadelphia Athletics. Meaning, at this point, Gus Weyhing and Lave Cross have now been teammates on two separate teams, but both of those teams were called the Philadelphia Athletics and both played in the American Association, but they were two entirely different franchises. Lave Cross's transaction history from that time on BB-Ref perhaps explains it best:

November, 1889: Jumped from the Philadelphia Athletics to the Philadelphia Athletics.
February, 1891: Returned to the Philadelphia Athletics by the Philadelphia Athletics after jumping teams.


After playing the 1891 season together as teammates for the "new" Philadelphia Athletics, the two men again found themselves out of a job, because, as I mentioned above, 1891 was the American Association's final year--the league would fold that winter. And, yet again, the two guys both accepted jobs in Philadelphia...this time with the National League's Philadelphia Phillies (who are, in fact, the same franchise as the Chase Utley/Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies.)

In 1900, both Weyhing and Cross would begin the year with the St. Louis Cardinals, and then--in separate transactions--get sent to the Brooklyn Superbas (ie, the present-day Dodgers) where they'd finish the season.

So:

1889 (The original) Philadelphia Athletics
1891 (The new) Philadelphia Athletics/Quakers
1892 Philadelphia Phillies
1900 St. Louis Cardinals
1900 Brooklyn Superbas/Dodgers
   18. McCoy Posted: February 02, 2014 at 08:42 AM (#4650026)
Chen also never was a teammate of Mike Morgan who played for 12 different franchises and also has one other rare feat which is that he played in 4 different decades. They never faced each other in their careers.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: February 02, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4650056)
#17 - bravo.
   20. DL from MN Posted: February 02, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4650068)
17 is some of the most bizzare trivia I have ever encountered. Jayson Stark would be jealous.
   21. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 02, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4650073)
Chen also never was a teammate of Mike Morgan who played for 12 different franchises and also has one other rare feat which is that he played in 4 different decades. They never faced each other in their careers.


Yeah, I didn't include Morgan (12), Zeile (11), or Mullholland (11) in my Bruce Chen comparison lists because they only had 5, 7, and 9 seasons of career crossover.

Chen was Todd Zeile's teammate on the 2001 Mets, and was Terry Mulholland's teammate on the 2000 Braves (with Bako).

The 2000 Braves had
Paul Bako (11)
Terry Mulholland (11)
Bruce Chen (10)
Trent Hubbard (9)
Mark DeRosa (9)
Rudy Seanz (9)
Reggie Sanders (8)
Bobby Bonilla (8)
Jason Marquis (8)
Andres Galarraga (7)
Kevin Millwood (7)
and a couple of guys with 6 different franchises.
   22. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4650078)
That's 8 and counting for Jason Marquis.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: February 02, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4650103)
Great find Davo.

   24. Davo Dozier Posted: February 02, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4650106)
19 & 20--Thanks. I had no idea the team name "Philadelphia Athletics" had such a long history!

Before the 1901 season, Lave Cross would jump from the Superbas to play in the American League's debut season with....the 1901 Philadelphia Athletics (who are the same franchise as the present-day Oakland Athletics). Meaning in all Lave Cross played for all four Major League teams located in Philadelphia:

* 1889 Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association
* 1890-1891 Philadelphia Athletics/Quakers of the Player's League (and 1891 in the American Association)
* 1892-1897 Philadelphia Phillies of the National League
* 1901 Philadelphia Athletics of the American League
   25. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 02, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4650113)
#17 and #24 combined for a pretty fantastic morning. I want to hug these posts.
   26. valuearbitrageur Posted: February 02, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4650117)
Those two players: Gus Weyhing and Lave Cross. And unless you're really familiar with turn-of-the-century baseball, what I'm about to write won't make much sense.


I am not that familiar with turn of the century baseball, but I do know that it was an era that demanded you hide love that not dare have a name, and just follow him from team to team.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: February 02, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4650126)
I would actually like to commend Davo on an entire winter of steering the discussion towards actual baseball and away from steroids, Jack Morris, Bud Selig, politics, etc.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: February 02, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4650141)
I would actually like to commend Davo on an entire winter of steering the discussion towards actual baseball and away from steroids, Jack Morris, Bud Selig, politics, etc.


No kidding. May he keep it coming.
   29. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 02, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4650147)
17 is some of the most bizzare trivia I have ever encountered. Jayson Stark would be jealous.


Give it a week and this may well be a Jayson Stark trivia question.
   30. Davo Dozier Posted: February 02, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4650246)
Thanks very much, guys.

We all took different paths to get into baseball; mine was trivia. I just loved discovering odd little facts that could connect players and teams who otherwise had nothing in common...all these little numbers tell the first part of the story, and then it was up to me to find out the rest of it.

That background frequently sets me apart from the majority of the people on this site--I don't really have any background in math, so a lot of the sabermetrics stuff flies right over my head--so it's always good to hear that there are other people who care about this all-too trivial stuff.
   31. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 02, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4650249)
Meaning in all Lave Cross played for all four Major League teams located in Philadelphia

Should rate a statue, or at least a plaque.
   32. Davo Dozier Posted: February 03, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4650645)
I still can't figure out why they DFAed Emilio Bonifacio. I mean...Pedro Ciriaco is still part of their 40-man roster!
   33. Ron J2 Posted: February 03, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4650702)
#32 Money? They can save just under $3 million by going with Ciriano instead of Bonifacio (as noted in #2)
   34. Davo Dozier Posted: February 03, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4650799)
Yeah, I suppose. Between this and the decision to cut George Kottaras (in favor of the cheaper Brett Hayes), they've been doing some really awful penny-wise, pound-foolish decisions this winter.
   35. thetailor Posted: February 03, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4651018)
Davo -- I am late to the thread here (no BBTF for me this morning at work) but I just wanted to echo the sentiments of the others and say that's all awesome. I think you should write more, if you enjoy it -- people would love to read it.
   36. thetailor Posted: February 03, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4651020)
Also, back to Bruce Chen - this feels both like an overpay and not. It sounds like a lot of money for Bruce Chen; but someone needs to pitch those innings.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 03, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4651056)
Also, back to Bruce Chen - this feels both like an overpay and not. It sounds like a lot of money for Bruce Chen; but someone needs to pitch those innings.

Every year, virtually every team gives 150-250 IP to really crappy starter. This kind of signing helps prevent that, and at 1/4.25 you really can't go wrong.

My kudos to Davo on that trivia find, as well.
   38. 'Spos Posted: February 03, 2014 at 11:15 PM (#4651171)
Davo that was awesome.

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