Top Jays prospect Travis d’Arnaud out 6-8 weeks

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Blue Jays catcher of the future Travis d’Arnaud is going to miss the next 6-8 weeks with a torn PCL in his knee, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports.

D’Arnaud, who was slated to play for the U.S. team in next month’s Futures Game, was injured sliding into second base playing for Triple-A Las Vegas last night.

The 23-year-old d’Arnaud is hitting .333/.380/.595 with 16 homers and 52 RBI in 279 at-bats this season. He gets to play in a great hitter’s park in Vegas, but even in road games, he has a .343/.381/.577 line. Considered a better defender than J.P. Arencibia, he figured to be a September callup this year and a candidate to take over as the Jays’ primary catcher next year. That still might happen, but the possible two-month absence makes it less likely.

As for d’Arnaud’s replacement in the Futures Game, Boston’s Ryan Lavarnway would seem to be the obvious choice, except for the fact that the Red Sox already have two representatives. None of the teams with one one rep have any exceptional (and U.S. born) catching prospects.

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.