The Yankees have been ousted from the postseason, but the saga of Alex Rodriguez continues.
Rodriguez told Peter Botte of the New York Daily News after today’s loss to the Tigers that he has no plans to waive his no-trade clause and intends to return to the Yankees next season.
“That’s correct. I will be back. I have a lot to prove.”
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported this morning that while Rodriguez wouldn’t request a trade, he also wouldn’t stand in the way of a deal to another large-market team. Meanwhile, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported this afternoon that the Marlins and Dodgers “thus far seem far less than anxious to acquire” Rodriguez. Of course, a lot can change over the course of the offseason and we’re just getting started.
After posting a career-low .783 OPS in 122 games during the regular season, Rodriguez went 3-for-25 (.120) with 12 strikeouts during the postseason and lost playing time and at-bats to the likes of Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez. The 37-year-old is still owed $114 million over the next five seasons, so the Yankees would likely have to cover a significant portion of his contract in order to make a deal feasible.
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.