The Blue Jays still don’t have a manager. Zev Icyk, who is studying at the Rabbinical College of America, has sent in an application. Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun has the story:
“I have drive, motivation, experience and personality to take the Jays where Alex Anthopoulos wants them to go,” an e-mail titled ‘The Jays’ vacant manager position’ read.
“The Jays would be the most aggressive and exciting team in the bigs. I am the only rabbi in the world with the ability to manage in the majors.”
His qualifications, apart from pluck and desire, include (a) hailing from a Toronto suburb; and (b) throwing a no-hitter when he was in junior college in Iowa. He makes another good point too:
“One thing for sure, if a Chabad rabbi is the manager, the Jays will be the most hyped team in 2013. The hype paired with the young talent-filled roster that the Jays already have could be something very special. What do they have to lose?”
I’ll admit to some skepticism, but ask yourself: would you be more interested in the Jays if they hired this guy or if they hired some retread like Jim Tracy or Don Wakamatsu?
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.