The Cubs go into the rooftop bleacher business

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For years the buildings just outside of Wrigley Field have charged admission to people to sit on the roof and peer into the ballpark during Cubs games. Five or six years ago the Cubs got all litigatey about it, and ended up settling with the building owners and accepting a cut of the rooftop gate.  Despite that, the relationship has been rocky, with the Cubs objecting to some of the building owners’ rooftop advertising and, more recently, hatching plans to put up Wrigley Field ads that would block the view of the neighbors.

We’re in a new era, however, because now the Cubs are actually investing directly in at least one of the rooftop businesses which had been struggling due to lack of an operator.

I’m no real estate expert or anything, but I wonder if, in this down market, it wouldn’t be a smart play for the team to try and take over some of those buildings, turning them into team owned seating.  At the very least, you figure that they could use these tough times to try and muscle a bigger portion of the take out of these guys. 

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.