11:34 PM: And so it begins. Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post hears that Hanley Ramirez is “distraught” over the prospect of changing positions to make room for Jose Reyes.
6:25 PM: We’ve heard plenty of speculation that Hanley Ramirez could force his way out of Miami following the signing of Jose Reyes. It may happen eventually, but the Marlins appear committed to trying to make things work.
According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said this afternoon that he considers Ramirez “part of the plan, part of the core.” Furthermore, he expressed confidence that Ramirez will be amenable to a move to third base.
“Hanley is a super-professional,” Loria, the Marlins owner, said Monday. “We will work with him, make everything comfortable for him.”
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com hears that Ramirez has a “strong preference” to remain at shortstop, but that he will handle the matter professionally. And it would behoove him to embrace the move if he wants to be part of a winner. But if he sulks a couple of months from now and forces a trade, the Marlins may end up taking one step forward and one step back.
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.