Curt Schilling analyzes the John Lackey signing

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Over at his personal website Curt Schilling posted his thoughts on the Red Sox signing John Lackey. Summarizing some of the interesting points:
* “Holy #$!&!” (Note: That’s a direct quote.)
* He doesn’t think signing Lackey “precludes them from signing” Jason Bay or Matt Holliday because “they have the money.” (Note: Presumably he wrote this not knowing about Mike Cameron.)
* A five-year contract for a pitcher with some past injuries “is a huge change for them” and “certainly makes you wonder what their plans are for Josh Beckett.”
* Boston “just didn’t want to part with the prospects Toronto was asking for” in a Roy Halladay deal.
* Theo Epstein “has always loved” Nick Johnson, who could be an option at first base if the Red Sox don’t sign Adrian Beltre.

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.