Manny Ramirez is predictably still looking for work after MLB reduced his suspension from 100 games to 50 games and Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that he plans to hold a workout for MLB teams later this month.
Last offseason Ramirez signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Rays, only to retire after five games when his 100-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs was announced.
Considering how limited his market was last winter and the fact that he hasn’t played since April it’s tough to imagine Ramirez getting a big-league deal at age 40, and at this point he may have a hard time convincing a team he’s worth a minor-league deal.
Ramirez’s last full season was 2010 and he hit .298 with 19 homers and a .949 OPS in 104 games for the Dodgers and White Sox. Under normal circumstances that would be enough to make him worth a low-cost flier, even at age 40, but because it’s Ramirez the over/under for teams attending his workout is probably around 2.5 (depending on how many scouts in the area are curious and/or bored that day).
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.