UPDATE: Done deal. Heyman reports it’s a two-year, $13 million deal.
Thursday, 9:24 PM: Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that the two sides are close to finalizing a two-year deal worth between $12-13 million. Just the “finishing touches” remain.
Thursday, 5:24 PM: Amid rumors that other teams have offered Ichiro Suzuki two-year deals Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the 39-year-old outfielder is expected to re-sign with the Yankees for $12-$13 million.
Heyman makes it sound like all but a done deal, writing that the two sides are “still working on structure” before it can be official.
Calcaterra speculated this morning that the reports of two-year offers were an effort to get the Yankees to cave and give Suzuki two years, but it sounds like they’re sticking with the one-year commitment.
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.