Justice: The Astros’ new owners are probably going to clean house

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Ed Wade, call your real estate agent.

That’s the message Richard Justice delivers in his post today about how the Astros organization is likely to change once Jim Crane and his just announced right-hand man George Postolos take over following the imminent sale by Drayton McLane.  The idea: Postolos — who happens to be the former President and CEO of the Houston Rockets — has a track record of favoring bright young minds and data-driven analysis, the sort of which does not currently reign in the Astros’ front office. The upshot: on both the business and the baseball side, major changes are likely to happen in Houston.

Justice believes that Brad Mills and the on-field staff is safe, however, which makes total sense.  Last year they squeezed a lot out of a little. This year they aren’t, but it’s not their fault.

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.