Indians, left-hander Bruce Chen reach minor league deal
CLEVELAND (AP) — Bruce Chen is getting a chance to pitch for an 11th team in the majors.
The well-traveled left-hander has agreed to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians, the team said Wednesday.
Chen, who spent the past six seasons with Kansas City, will compete for a roster spot at spring training, and if would get a $1 million, one-year contract if he’s added to the 40-man roster plus a chance to earn up to $1 million in performance bonuses based on starts and $300,000 based on relief appearances.
The 37-year-old has gone 82-80 in 16 major league seasons, pitching with six NL teams and four in the AL. He battled a back injury last season, when he went 2-4 with a 7.45 ERA in 13 games — seven starts.
The Indians believe Chen, who has made 225 career starts since breaking in with the Braves in 1998, can give them depth in the rotation or bullpen. Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Carlos Carrasco appear to have starting jobs assured, and Chen figures to be among those competing for a rotation spot — or maybe a relief role.
Chen would earn $50,000 if he makes 35 relief appearances and $50,000 more for every five games up to 60. He would earn $100,000 each for five, 8, 12 and 15 starts and $200,000 apiece for 18, 21 and 24.
Chen won a career-high 13 games for Baltimore in 2005 and he won at least 11 games from 2010-12 for the Royals.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.