The official Elias rankings are out, and as predicted Kansas City Royals pitcher Bruce Chen is a Type B free agent. Should Chen be offered arbitration, decline, and sign with a new team, the Royals will receive a compensation pick in the supplemental round.
Chen, 34, posted a 3.77 ERA last season (ERA+ of 108) in 25 starts for the Royals. It may come as a surprise, but Chen has now been a Royal for three seasons, and has appeared in 75 games in Kansas City, the second most of any team in his long and varied career (he managed 82 games with the Orioles over three seasons). In the last two seasons, Chen has found success as a pitch-to-contact player, posting a composite ERA+ of 105 with just a 5.9 K/9.
While Chen's status as a Type B has been long-expected, the Royals now officially know what the stakes are. Chen made $2 million last season, so you would think the right move would be to offer him arbitration, hope he declines, then hope he signs elsewhere. On the other hand, the Royals have very little starting pitching (best farm system ever!) so perhaps they truly need Chen in 2012 and don't want him to go, draft pick or no.