The Washington Nationals have hired Davey Johnson as a special assistant.
Johnson was a pretty fabulous manager. His managing days are over
— he has had some serious health and family issues in recent years and after all of that and at his age, he likely
doesn’t have the energy for the 162-game grind anymore — but he’s
still a storehouse of baseball wisdom, and it only makes sense that he
could help a team in some capacity. Good for the Nats for recognizing that.
This makes yet another in a series of bright moves by that team since the firing of Jim Bowden last year. I’m not sure what snarky baseball bloggers like me are going to do now that Washington isn’t a laughingstock anymore, but I’m sure Nats fans don’t particularly care.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.