Indians slash concession stand prices, will offer $4 beer

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Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal passes along word that the Indians have decided to lower the prices on their concession stand items by up to 25 percent on certain things.

That includes dropping hot dogs to $3 and beer to $4, which isn’t particularly cheap in the real world but is definitely a huge bargain compared to other in-ballpark offerings.

According to Fisher the “concession price cuts come after club research found it a major issue inhibiting ticket sales.”

Which makes sense, because while plenty of teams offer cheap tickets to games the fact that beer is still $7 kind of cancels that out. Hell, just a few days ago on my Twins-centric podcast we discussed the pros and cons of taking a flask into the ballpark because the beer prices at Target Field are so high (and also because we have some separate issues, but whatever).

UPDATE: As of last April the average cost of a beer at an MLB game was $6.17 and the Diamondbacks had the cheapest beer at $4 for a 14-ounce cup. Meanwhile, the Red Sox charged $7.25 for a 12-ounce cup.

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.