This was probably inevitable:
The state of Rhode Island on Thursday sued former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and one-time officials with the state’s economic development agency in connection with a $75 million loan guarantee to his failed video game company.
The AP Story on it is rather vague as to the specifics, but if you care enough about this story to have clicked this link you already know the broad contours: Curt Schilling started a video game company. Poured millions and years into it. Was lured to relocate the company to Rhode Island with loan guarantees from the state in exchange for promises of job creation. Company spent money like crazy, product wasn’t terribly successful. Company went bust, but not before leaving its workers high and dry and in some cases in severe financial straits. Curt Schilling called the governor of Rhode Island a “dunce.” Allegations arose that the company knew it was screwed but misled employees. Everyone with a bit of jurisdiction over this mess has or still is investigating.
And now, the lawyers.
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.