MLB fires Executive Vice President Jimmie Lee Solomon

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Eric Fisher of SportsBusinessJournal reports that a longtime MLB executive has been let go:

Major League Baseball executive VP/baseball development Jimmie Lee Solomon has been fired by commissioner Bud Selig, according to industry sources, ending a 21-year association with the league.

MLB execs declined to comment, and it is not clear what precipitated the surprise move or what Selig plans to do to replace Solomon.

Fisher later tweeted that some team executives said “this was a long time coming.”

Solomon used to have the Joe Torre job: overseeing on-field issues and umpiring, but was demoted a couple of years ago to deal with the league’s development initiatives.  Now he’s out.

Solomon graduated from Harvard Law School, and after 10 years at a Washington law firm, where he made partner, he got into baseball. A couple of years he was quoted as saying he “hated every second” of his legal career.  Which is gonna make it a bit hard for him when he starts circulating resumes next week …

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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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.