The Indians have secured some additional rotation depth, as CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the club has added veteran left-hander Bruce Chen on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He would have a $1 million base salary if he makes the big club and could make $1 million more with incentives.
Chen has pitched for 10 teams in the majors, but he has spent the last six seasons with the Royals. The 37-year-old dealt with a back injury last season while posting a 7.45 ERA over seven starts and six relief appearances. He was designated for assignment in late August and ultimately given his release in September.
With Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Gavin Floyd, Danny Salazar, T.J. House, Josh Tomlin, and Zach McAllister, the Indians already have more starters than available rotation spots, so Chen will mostly function as insurance.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.