George Steinbrenner will be honored in Monument Park

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From MLB.com’s Bailey Stephens comes word that the Yankees will honor late owner George Steinbrenner with a plaque in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park on September 20 of this year.

“We remain profoundly grateful and touched by the many expressions of
sympathy and support from so many,” the Steinbrenner family said in a written
statement. “We know we will always share George’s memory with Yankees fans
everywhere, and a monument in his honor to be located in Monument Park
will reflect the special connection, appreciation and responsibility
that George felt for New York Yankees’ fans everywhere as they were
always uppermost in his mind.”

Steinbrenner took over as principal owner of the Yankees in 1973 and helped return to the organization to its current elite status.  In honor of where the Yanks were when he took over and where they sit now as the most recognizable franchise on the planet, Steinbrenner will be given a spot next to on-field greats like Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth.

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.