The Giants win the World Series again

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Yomiuri, that is:

[Shinnosuke] Abe drove in the tiebreaking run in the seventh and the Yomiuri bullpen took it from there, as the Giants won the Japan Series with a 4-3 victory over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Game 6 on Saturday night at Tokyo Dome … The Giants won the series 4-2 to claim their record 22nd title.

It was the first time that the San Francisco/New York Giants and the Yomiuri Giants won the series in the same year. The NFL Giants are reigning champs too, so it’s starting to get freaky.

If you care about such things, the Giants gaikokujin include John Bowker, who was traded away from the San Francisco Giants in the middle of 2010, thereby missing out on their championship that year. He won an “outstanding player” award for the series, and you can see him on the dogpile in the picture. Also on the roster: Dicky Gonzalez, D.J. Houlton, Scott Mathieson and Edgar Gonzalez (the former Padres infielder, not the Astros pitcher).

Yeah, it’s a slow news day in the majors. Save yourself the obvious comment.

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.