They’ve finally found their man. Er, a man.
According to Baltimore sports reporter Jen Royle, the Orioles have officially hired Dan Duqette to be their next general manager and will introduce him at a press conference Tuesday at Camden Yards.
Duquette served as the Expos’ general manager from 1992-1994 before taking the same position with the Red Sox for eight seasons. He’s been out of baseball since 2002, but the 53-year-old has a background in scouting and player development, and he boasts a strong resume that includes many successful drafts.
The Orioles won’t be able to escape the fact that they were turned down by multiple candidates before settling on Duquette, but he’s a fine fit for the role and will succeed if given the right resources.
Duquette’s primary challenge will be to turn around a Baltimore pitching staff that registered a league-worst 4.89 ERA this past season. The 29th-ranked Twins pitching staff had a 4.58 team ERA.
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.