If you missed the absolutely stunning news last night, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped at gunpoint from his home in Venezuela. The details, such as we currently have them, can all be read over in our original thread.
Obviously we’ll continue to update this story as we learn new things today, but for now the only new information, such as it is, is that as of this morning there has still been no word or demands from Ramos’ kidnappers.
Jose Grasso, the president of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League in which Ramos is currently playing, said that they will not suspend games during this crisis. His league, I suppose he can do what he wants.
Here’s hoping that this ends with Ramos’ safe return today. Man. What is wrong with people?
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.