The Mets are likely done with John Maine

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John Maine allowed one (unearned) run over 4 1/3 innings in his second minor league rehab start with Triple-A Buffalo on Friday night, but according to what Mets manager Jerry Manuel told Kevin Burkhardt of SNY, he is not close to coming back to Queens. Far from it.

Jerry is saying is the Maine has likely thrown his
last pitch as a New York Met.

I’m guessing that the Mets will simply designate him for assignment once the clock on his minor league rehab stint is done. Maine hasn’t resembled anything close to a useful pitcher since his shoulder problems surfaced during the 2008 season, so the Mets are unlikely to get much, if anything, back via trade.

Hisanori Takahashi or R.A. Dickey have done just fine in place of Maine and Oliver Perez, but one of them, likely Takahashi, will head to the bullpen if general manager Omar Minaya is able to land a starting pitcher before the trade deadline.

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.