Don’t look for the Royals to fall all over themselves trying to sign free-agent lefty Bruce Chen, their top winner (12-7) last season.
They love his work ethic, his mechanics changes, his attitude, his clubhouse presence. But he’s 33 and really doesn’t fit into their long-term plans. They’ve got a plentiful batch of young lefties close to being ready. He’s also viewed as a five-inning pitcher – he got beyond the sixth in just six of 23 starts.
Chen prefers a two-year contract, unlikely from the Royals, and his agent is Scott Boras, who figures to dangle his client in front of all 29 other clubs to get the best offer possible. If all that fails, Chen could wind up back with the Royals but it’s a long shot.