Have a safe and happy new year, HBT Nation

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The day is turning into evening, and as there appears to be nothing happening baseball-wise at the moment, I’m going to go have a big, big New Year’s Eve: some dinner, some hanging out with the kids and then fighting like hell to stay awake past 10PM (I gave up on the idea of midnight the moment I woke up at 5AM this morning).

Obviously if any baseball stuff happens this evening we’ll let you know, but for now I wanted to thank all of you for a great 2012 and wish you all a happy 2013.

In the extremely likely event you have a more exciting night planned than I do, please be safe.  I’ll be back talking to you tomorrow as if it weren’t a new year and all that exciting stuff.

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.