The Mets sign Chris Young

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They were “closing in on a deal” late yesterday afternoon, but now the deal is reportedly done: Chris Young has agreed to a deal with the Mets. The deal is pending a physical, which is pretty key here given Young’s shoulder troubles last season.

Young is worth a gamble as long as he’s not pricey, which he shouldn’t be. If he pitches well he could hang around and solidify the rotation. Or he could be dealt at the deadline for some foundational pieces. No real downside here. And then there’s this from Adam Rubin’s column yesterday:

The 6-foot-10 Young played basketball and baseball at Princeton. Capuano was Phi Beta Kappa at Duke. Dickey was an English major at the University of Tennessee and is extremely well-read. Left-handed reliever Taylor Tankersley is also known as an intellectual, and his father is a nuclear physicist.

How much you want to bet that if the Mets start the season out poorly the talk radio and tabloid guys go on a big anti-intellectualism kick?  I bet they have interns combing Bill Plaschke’s old anti-Paul DePodesta columns for material as we speak. I just hope that they update the slide rule references to graphing calculators or something. You know, to keep it fresh.

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.