Amid reports of unhappiness Ian Kinsler repeats willingness to change positions for Rangers

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writing yesterday that Ian Kinsler “is not thrilled with the idea of changing positions less than a year after signing a five-year, $75 million contract extension” led to Kinsler being asked about the situation last night and he reiterated the willingness to play wherever the Rangers want him:

My feeling is whatever I need to help this team win. I signed a long-term extension to win a championship here and if they think me at first is going to help win a championship, I’m all for it.

That seems pretty straightforward and matches what Kinsler said publicly about the situation last month too, which makes Rosenthal’s report an interesting one.

General manager Jon Daniels was also asked about the situation last night and replied: “We’re just trying to figure out how many winning players we can get on the field together. Nothing’s set in stone, but we wanted Ian to have the chance to digest it and prepare if we ultimately go that way.”

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.