The Athletics have cast off players like crazy this winter and look to have something of a talent deficiency. But if you go to the movies, you know exactly how a team like the Athletics solves this problem: they dress up as a British nanny to get closer to their kids and, in the process, win back the love of their ex-wife and learn a little something about themselves.
What, you were expecting “Moneyball?” Pfft. That stuff don’t work.
Anyway, they’re also willing to consider almost anyone as long as they’re cheap and as long as they could maybe hit the ball. That describes Manny Ramirez pretty well, and A’s owner Lew Wolff wouldn’t have any problem with his team taking a chance on Manny. From Jon Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I really don’t see any non-baseball reason for not having him. I wouldn’t want to not have a player because he made a mistake and paid the price for it, but that’s really up to (general manager) Billy (Beane).”
Almost zero cost and a potentially half-decent reward if Ramirez could even manage to be a shadow of his former self. It’s at least worth bringing the guy to camp, no? It’s the A’s we’re talking about here.
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.