Twins haven’t ruled out re-signing Michael Cuddyer even after Josh Willingham deal

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Josh Willingham was signed to replace Michael Cuddyer as the right-handed bat in the middle of Minnesota’s lineup, but now that Willingham’s three-year, $21 million deal is finally official the Twins aren’t ruling out bringing back Cuddyer too.

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that “there is growing hope within the Twins organization that they might be able to re-sign Cuddyer” and the three-year, $25 million offer made to him more than a week ago may still be on the table.

Cuddyer’s lack of response to that proposal seemed to indicate he wanted to move on, but it’s possible he had second thoughts or simply isn’t happy with the other offers coming his way from teams like the Rockies and Mariners.

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.