The Dodgers just spent another $1.3 million to add Todd Coffey to what already appeared to be a full bullpen. It’s not a bad deal — worse relievers have signed for more money this winter — but I’m not sure what they felt they needed him for.
The Dodgers already have the following relievers on the 40-man roster. I’m including my 2012 ERA projections in the list:
1. Kenley Jansen – 2.66
2. Scott Elbert – 3.49
3. Matt Guerrier – 3.58
4. Javy Guerra – 3.67
5. Josh Lindblom – 3.68
6. Blake Hawksworth – 3.78
7. Mike MacDougal – 4.21
8. Ramon Troncoso – 4.32
9. Josh Wall – 6.11
That list doesn’t include John Grabow, who was supposed to be a strong candidate for a job after signing a minor league deal, or Ronald Belisario, who will serve a 25-game suspension for a testing positive for a drug of abuse.
Guerra, Jansen, Guerrier, MacDougal and Coffey should be pretty much guaranteed spots, leaving two openings for Elbert, Lindblom, Hawksworth, Troncoso and Grabow. Hawksworth is coming off offseason elbow surgery and might not be ready for Opening Day, so he’ll probably be stashed on the DL. Elbert can still likely be penciled in for one spot, but there’s now a good chance that Lindblom will be Triple-A bound.
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.