clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Indians sign Bruce Chen

New, comments

The rotation depth just got deeper.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Indians have signed left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen to a minor league deal that could be worth up to $2 million, according to Jon Heyman. He'll get $1 million if he makes the 25-man roster, and can earn another $1 million over the course season if he pitches enough innings.

Chen missed much of 2014 after suffering a lower back injury, and struggled mightily in the 48.1 innings he was able to throw, with an ERA of 7.45. His FIP was a more respectable 4.58. If you want to view this transaction through rose-tinted glasses, you might be happy to know he was something like league average from 2010 to 2013, with an ERA+ of 99 in an average of 152 innings a season.

Chen has a good walk rate (2.47 per 9 innings over the last three years), but doesn't strike many out (6.33 per nine innings during that same time), and gave up 1.32 home runs per nine innings, which was the 6th highest rate in baseball during that time for pitchers with 300+ innings.

Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar, Bauer, Floyd, House, McAllister, and Tomlin already gave the Tribe solid depth; if Chen sticks around (minor league deals often include opt-out clauses so that a player can pursue other opportunities if they don't make the 25-man roster by a certain date), he'll add to that depth. If he pitches the way I expect him to though, it'll mean things have gone wrong for a number of others if he's in the rotation at any point.