Jon Heyman: "mystery team" in the running for Bay

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SI’s Jon Heyman writes that, despite the fact that that all of the other teams that need a left fielder are not really interested in Jason Bay, there is a “mystery team” in the running for him, making life harder for the Mets.  At the risk of falling into conspiracy theory land, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that, even though he is not Bay’s agent, Scott Boras is inventing the “mystery team.”  My thinking:

  • The Mets are widely reported to have focused on Bay over Holliday because they think he’ll be easier to sign;
  • Boras needs the Mets to jump into the Matt Holliday derby, because his dude needs to get paid crazy Omar money or at the very least needs to use them to leverage the Cardinals;
  • By creating a rumor of a “mystery team,” the only advantage Bay has over Holliday — his alleged signability — is neutralized, thereby making Holliday more appealing to the Mets.

So that’s my theory. The mystery team is a fantasy.  And you can’t doubt me on that. I got it from an anonymous source whose identity is, like, a total mystery.

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.