Yankees hoping Lou Piniella will accept advisory role

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When Lou Piniella stepped down from his post as Cubs manager in August, he did so in order to make time for his ailing mother.

It wasn’t the way he wanted to go out and he expressed great emotion during his final press conference about leaving the game of baseball behind.

Good news, Lou.  You can always come back.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner had a 30-minute conversation with Piniella on Thursday and offered the 67-year-old an open invitation to return to the game in the form of a front-office advisor for the Yanks.

Piniella played outfield in New York for 11 seasons before turning to coaching.  He won a World Series championship in pinstripes in 1977 and 1978, and he posted a 224-193 managerial record for the Yankees from 1986 until the middle of the 1988 season.

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.