Yanks make offer to Russell Martin, want him as a starter

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The hot stove has been set to a low setting as the baseball world migrates back from the Winter Meetings in Olrando, Florida.  But at least one free agent is still feeling the heat.

Aaron told you a few hours ago that the Red Sox had made an official contract offer to catcher Russell Martin.  According to George King III of the New York Post, the Yankees have now done the same and want to make him their starting catcher.

Martin would probably have to battle for playing time in Boston with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek.  In New York he’d have a better shot at starting every day while Jesus Montero continues to marinate in the minor leagues and Jorge Posada takes most of his at-bats out of the DH role.

Buster Olney of ESPN.com is hearing that the Red Sox are the favorite to land Martin, but he might be attracted to the more frequent looks that the Yanks can provide.  Especially if he has real plans to turn his career around.  Remember, this is the same guy that was handed All-Star nods in his sophomore and junior MLB seasons before a hip injury threw everything off.

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.