CSNChicago.com’s Patrick Mooney reports that the Cubs have signed Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion to a five-year, $6 million contract.
Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald reported in early February that the deal was done, but it apparently took a little while to make everything final.
Concepcion, 20, was named Rookie of the Year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional last season after posting a 3.36 ERA in 101 2/3 innings. He defected from Cuba to Mexico in June and became a major league free agent in mid-January. The Cubs will probably get him started this year at a lower rung of Single-A.
UPDATE, 3:18 PM: According to beat writer Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the deal comes with a $3 million signing bonus and the other $3 million is spread across the five-year deal.
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.