Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Start reports that the Royals are “making progress in reaching agreement on a new contract” with free agent left-hander Bruce Chen, with general manager Dayton Moore saying that the two sides are hoping to get a deal finalized before the winter meetings next month.
Chen looked just about finished in his late twenties, but got his career back on track in the Royals’ rotation by throwing 295 innings with a 3.96 ERA during the past two seasons.
Dutton writes that he’s seeking a two-year deal in the range of $5 million per season, which is a pretty big commitment to a 32-year-old with a spotty track record and high-80s fastball.
In the meantime the Royals offered Chen arbitration, which means if he does sign elsewhere they’ll get a compensatory draft pick for the Type B free agent.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.