Trade delayed as Red Sox talk long-term deal with Gonzalez

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The Red Sox may want to wait on officially inking a contract extension with Adrian Gonzalez, but they do want some terms in place before signing off on their blockbuster five-player trade with the Padres.  And it’s now officially crunch time.

Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Sox won’t finalize the Gonzalez trade unless the first baseman agrees to an “understanding” toward a long-term deal.  The deadline for negotiations has been set at 2pm ET — less than 30 minutes from now.

Gonzalez is thought to be seeking a contract similar to the five-year, $125 million one that Ryan Howard signed with the Phillies earlier this year.  That’s far from unreasonable, but the Red Sox rightfully have some concerns about Gonzalez’s shoulder, which he had surgically repaired in October.

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.