The Angels are the front-runners for Adrian Beltre

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Angels are now the front-runners for Adrian Beltre’s services because (a) the Athletics have dropped out; and (b) the Rangers don’t feel comfortable making the commitment in dollars and years that Beltre seems to want.

The A’s have been jerked around by Beltre for a long time, it seems. They had an offer out there. He showed no interest in it. You can’t blame them for saying goodbye to the whole situations.  Likewise, Nolan Ryan seemed to make it pretty clear yesterday that he’s not comfortable going more then three years for a player no matter who he is. Rosenthal says that Boras is looking for at least five years for Beltre. So it would seem that the Angels are the only team in play for Beltre.

That is, unless a mystery team is suddenly reported to be interested.  But that never, ever happens with Scott Boras clients, does it?

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.