Bruce Chen has had a pretty weird career. He was a top prospect with the Braves, got to the Majors at 21, and had his first excellent season at age-23. And then he fell apart and became the definition of a replacement level pitcher. From 2000 to 2003, he played for the Braves, Phillies, Mets, Expos, Reds, Astros, and Red Sox. He changed teams at least once in each of those four years, and was officially a journeyman by the time he was 26.
A decade later, he just re-signed with the Royals for another $4.25 million in guaranteed money, with an option that could actually keep him around through the end of his age-37 season. This wasn’t a particularly easy outcome to see coming, given how mediocre he was for most of his career, but his late career revival is almost something of a reminder about just how much of a pitcher’s performance is driven by home run rates.