Rockies confirm interest in free agent Michael Cuddyer

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Minnesota has made Michael Cuddyer a three-year, $25 million offer to re-sign, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Colorado could jump into the mix for the veteran right fielder after freeing up some payroll space by trading Huston Street.

Renck has regularly linked the Rockies to Cuddyer in the past and reports that general manager Dan O’Dowd “confirmed the club’s interest again today.”

Renck adds that “Rockies players are also believed to be trying to sell Cuddyer on Colorado.”

Josh Willingham appears to be the Twins’ primary fallback plan should Cuddyer sign elsewhere and if Willingham falls through they could increase their efforts to re-sign Jason Kubel. Cuddyer visited Philadelphia last month, but the Phillies’ interest seems to have waned.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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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.