We already know that the Athletics have some interest in Manny Ramirez, but Peter Gammons of MLB Network is hearing that they are also evaluating Magglio Ordonez for a possible tryout during spring training.
Ordonez, who turned 38 in January, returned from right ankle surgery last season and batted just .255/.303/.331 with five home runs, 32 RBI and a career-low .634 OPS over 92 games. He was removed from the Tigers’ ALCS roster in October after re-breaking his ankle and required a second surgery in November. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reported last month that Ordonez has made “consistent progress” in his rehabilitation and intends to play this season.
While Ordonez can’t be counted on to play the outfield anymore, that’s not really a big deal for the A’s since they already have a host of palatable options out there. He’s clearly a big risk following surgery, but one advantage he’d offer to Oakland is that he could be ready to play at the start of the season while Ramirez would still have to serve his 50-game PED suspension.
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.