Randy Winn, Michael Young could reach postseason for first time

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The list of longest-serving active players without a playoff appearance appears due for a shakeup this year. Here are the leaders in regular-season games played without a postseason appearance:
1. Randy Winn (Cardinals) – 1,686 games
2. Michael Young (Rangers) – 1,473 games
3. Aubrey Huff (Giants) – 1,444 games
4. Mike Sweeney (Phillies) – 1,442 games
5. Adam Dunn (Nationals) – 1,415 games
6. Vernon Wells (Blue Jays) – 1,358 games
With the season three-quarters over, No. 2 looks like a lock to play into October and the rest of the top four have opportunities. Winn, Huff and Sweeney are all currently on second-place teams in the National League. The Phillies and Giants are practically tied for the wild card, and both the Phillies and Cardinals are still in pretty good position to win their divisions.
Of course, it’s doubtful that all four will make it and leave Dunn as the new top player on the list. But it’s not impossible.
Regardless, with eight teams reaching the postseason these days, it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to break Ernie Banks’ all-time record. In 19 seasons, he played in 2,528 games without ever appearing in the postseason. Next on the list are Luke Appling (2,422), Mickey Vernon (2,409) and Buddy Bell (2,405).

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.