UPDATE: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Trembley may have been fired this evening. That wouldn’t be a shock, given that the media has known about his fate for close to eight hours now.
3:41pm: The move has been rumored for a while now, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are expected to fire manager Dave Trembley following this afternoon’s game against the Yankees.
According to Connolly, president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail is expected to meet with Trembley when the team returns to Baltimore tonight and will likely name third base coach Juan Samuel as the interim manager prior to the home series against the Red Sox that begins tomorrow.
Barring a comeback this afternoon the Orioles will be on an eight-game losing streak and have the worst record in all of baseball at 15-39. Since taking over the team midway through the 2007 season Trembley is 187-283, for a .398 winning percentage that trails only Manny Acta (.384) among active managers with at least two seasons of experience and ranks as the 12th-worst mark of all time.
Much like Trey Hillman in Kansas City there’s little reason to think Trembley deserves to keep the job, but the organization’s problems extend well beyond him. Baltimore hasn’t had a winning season since way back in 1997–when Brian Matusz was 10 years old and both Adam Jones and Matt Wieters were 11–and Trembley’s replacement will be the Orioles’ sixth different manager during that time.
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.