We learned earlier today that if the Marlins do indeed sign Albert Pujols, they’ll be out on free agent left-handers C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle and turn their focus on the trade market. The Marlins were already connected in talks for A’s left-hander Gio Gonzalez last month and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com hears that they also have some interest in trade for Astros’ left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is due $10 million next season and $13 million in 2013. His contract includes a $13 million club option for 2014, but it becomes a player option in the event that he’s traded, so it essentially works out to a three-year, $36 million contract. Knobler reported yesterday that the Astros aren’t willing to cover any of his salary in a potential trade.
Rodriguez, who turns 33 in January, went 11-11 with a 3.09 ERA and a 166/69 K/BB ratio over 191 innings this season.
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.