Bruce Chen has been added to the Royals’ roster after passing his physical examination, taking the spot vacated by Gil Meche when he retired.
It really seemed like Meche was going to give the bullpen a try when we talked in the last week of the season. He felt like he had to do something to earn the $12 million still left on his contract. A lot of players would’ve had the shoulder surgery, sat out the season, collected the money and said, “Thanks and see ya later.”
Meche wasn’t that kind of guy. And, after thinking about it this winter, he couldn’t even justify collecting such a huge pile of dough by pitching out of the bullpen. So he packed it in.
“I know bullpen guys don’t make that kind of money unless they’re a closer,” he said, “and I just felt it was the right thing to do. I’m not trying to look good in any way. I just know I wouldn’t be able to handle it if I got hurt and wouldn’t be able to play.”
After making about $43 million the last four years, Meche is set financially anyway.
Anyway, with Chen on the roster, that’s back to the 40-man limit and when Jeff Francis is officially added, another player will have to be dropped.
— Dick Kaegel