Roy Oswalt’s agent told Jon Paul Morosi that Oswalt wants to sign a “long-term” contract. This winter. Hurm. Depends what he considers “long-term” I suppose.
Oswalt is still effective when he pitches — he had a 3.69 ERA and a 93/33 K/BB ratio in 139 innings in 2011 — but he’s got back problems and back problems are red flags for pitchers. Especially pitchers in their mid-30s.
He’s certainly not an Erik Bedard/Rich Harden level gamble, and potentially elite pitching is always pretty damn valuable when it hits the market, but Oswalt is still something of a gamble. Can you commit three years to this guy? If so, can you do it without it being somewhat incentive-laden?
Maybe we should ask the Rangers. They’re likely going to need a C.J. Wilson replacement. And while I haven’t seen any of the speculators speculatin’ it yet, it makes all kinds of sense for Oswalt to return to the state of Texas, does it not?
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.