The Kansas City Royals and their fans got some smile-inducing news last night when it was announced that KC was working on an estimated one-year, $3.25 million deal with the steady and lovable Bruce Chen.
The contract also includes a $5.5 million mutual option for 2015 with a $1 million buyout and up to $1.25 million in incentives. All this is currently unofficial, and both sides are remaining tight-lipped until Chen passes his physical and the contract is finalized.
It seems like this contract-in-the-making comes as a direct reaction to Jeremy Guthrie‘s kudos-worthy decision to restructure his contract and free up around $3 million on the Royals’ payroll this season. This may not be the game-changing, headline-stealing move that a rare few still hold out hope for, but it is a conservatively smart move that helps the team right now.
Everyone’s favorite Chinese-Panamanian played with nine other MLB teams before finding his niche in Kansas City. During his tenure with the Royals, he’s compiled a 4.32 ERA and eaten up 670.1 innings over five seasons. He’s shown a constant capability to adapt and recreate himself with new-found trickery, and he can pitch in nearly any context you could imagine.
Perhaps more importantly, Bruce is a crazy-likable source of positivity in the dugout, in the clubhouse and basically everywhere he goes. The well of optimism and adorably cheesy one-liners won’t run dry anytime soon, and that’s something for which any fan who loves the game for the right reasons can be grateful.