Instead of September call-up, ex-A's prospect Grant Desme enters seminary

7 Comments

A’s outfield prospect Grant Desme retired from baseball in January to enter the priesthood and the 24-year-old former second-round pick officially begins his time at a seminary in California today.
Had he not given up baseball before the season Desme would probably be in line for a call-up when rosters expand on September 1. After all, he hit .288/.365/.568 with 31 homers and 40 steals in 131 games between high Single-A and Double-A last season and was also named MVP of the Arizona Fall League.
Instead he’ll be at St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange Country, where he’ll live as a monk as a part of a 70-person community. The whole process of becoming a priest takes 10 years, but Desme said back in April that he regretted nothing about his decision and “didn’t even realize it was Opening Day.”

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.