Look, I’m not saying that the guy had the simplest decision in the world in front of him. And to hear him describe it during the radio interview he did at WFAN, things were pretty hectic around the time he decided to give the ball back to Derek Jeter. Security had hustled him out of his seat and into the bowels of the stadium. They were asking him point blank what he wanted for the ball and everything. No, it wasn’t like they had him in thumb screws or anything, but I can see how the situation may not have been comfort city.
Still, when he answered the following question the way he did, the fact that he gave up a ball that could have meant a couple hundred thousand dollars is all the more facepalm worthy than we first thought:
Is it true your girlfriend jokingly wanted you to keep the ball so you could pay off student loans?
“Yeah I am a couple of hundred thousand dollars in debt thanks to St.Lawrence University. I mean it’s crazy.”
But hey, Jeter has his baseball back, so I guess it’s all OK.
Oh, and if you haven’t voted in our poll yet, please do so. As I write this, “auctioned the ball off to the highest bidder” is trouncing “give the ball back to Jeter” among HBT readers.
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.