Red Sox activate Vicente Padilla from disabled list

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Vicente Padilla is back from the disabled list following a minimum 15-day stay, rejoining the Red Sox’s bullpen after missing time with a biceps injury.

To make room for Padilla’s return the Red Sox sent Danny Valencia to Triple-A after initially calling him up to help sub for the injured Will Middlebrooks at third base. Instead of turning to Valencia–who was acquired from the Twins in a small trade two weeks ago–manager Bobby Valentine opted to go with Nick Punto as Middlebrooks’ primary fill-in.

Padilla threw 39 innings with a very strong 43/11 K/BB ratio and very underwhelming 4.62 ERA before getting hurt. He’ll slide back into a setup role.

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.