Brian Cashman would really like Chipper Jones to come out of retirement

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Chipper Jones is retired. He has said so unequivocally and repeatedly, as recently as two weeks ago. Still, when you’re Brian Cashman and you’ve lost your third baseman, first baseman and one of your corner outfielders I suppose you’re allowed to be hopeful about things:

Those first two tweets sounded like Cashman — who was speaking to reporters about his Derek Lee inquiries — just messing around. In the same vein as “sure, I’d love it if we could sign Johnny Mize.”  But the last one suggesting that Cashman is serious was somewhat surprising.

It’s not going to happen. Chipper Jones is not, by his own admission, at all interested in playing baseball anymore. Even if he was, there is nothing in his entire history or temperament which suggests he’d go back on his decision to retire, let alone that he’d do so for the Yankees or any other team besides the Braves.

UPDATE: It seems Cashman has reached out to Scott Rolen too, but there isn’t much traction there.  No word on when Kelly Gruber will get his call.

But when you’re desperate you’re desperate. And if I was Brian Cashman I’d want Chipper Jones too.

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.