Hideki Irabu busted for suspected DUI

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Hideki Irabu was pulled over in Gardena, California drifting right and left and all over the place. The cops are going to wait for his blood tests to come back to decide if he should be charged.  Worth noting, though, that if this holds up it won’t be the first time the Fat Toad has had a problem with alcohol and the law. Back in 2008 he was arrested for assaulting a bar manager in Japan after allegedly consuming 20 glasses of beer.  That’s a lot even if the glasses are small!

As for this weaving-through-traffic incident, I suppose his defense would that (a) he’s Hideki Irabu and so by definition
he’s all over the place; and (b) no matter how fast anyone thought he was going we was really going slower, but I’ll leave that for his lawyer.

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.