Damon to the press: "Tell the Yankees I want to sign!"

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Johnny Damon, speaking to the press at a light switch-flipping event at the Empire State Building yesterday:

“I know what’s here in New York – you have the new Stadium, you have
the great coaches, you have the great players. You guys
just have to tell Cash to get things going with me. I’m up for it.”

I don’t mean to beat this theme to death, and to be sure, Damon was likely just joking around with the press a bit yesterday, but it makes absolutely no sense to me that Damon is sticking with Scott Boras this winter.

Damon wants to sign now. Boras likes to wait as long as possible. Damon obviously wants to sign with a certain team. Boras likes to play the field. Damon is a leftfielder. Boras’ top free agent this winter is a better leftfielder who would clearly like to have the Yankees bidding on him, either in earnest, or to simply jack his price up to other teams.

There may be dynamics in the Boras-Damon we know nothing about. Loyalty. A real game plan that is totally at odds with Damon’s current statements.  But as things presently stand,  there is nothing to suggest that Damon’s interests are best served by the usual Scott Boras
approach.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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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.