MLB won’t approve pink-label MaxBats on Mother’s Day

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It seems Louisville Slugger has a monopoly on the pink labels for Mother’s Day bats permitted by MLB.

The Orioles’ Nick Markakis, the Nationals’ Jayson Werth and the Twins’ Trevor Plouffe were among the players informed by the league Friday that they won’t be able to use their custom label MaxBats on Sunday.

Of course, this isn’t going over particularly well.

Plouffe, likewise, has a mother who is a cancer survivor.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says the Diamondbacks’ Jason Kubel, the Mariners’ Kendrys Morales and the Red Sox’s Jonny Gomes were also planning on using specially designed MaxBats on Sunday.

While Louisville Slugger has no exclusive deal with MLB in regards to the pink bats, they do own the rights to pink labels, which seems to be the problem here.

Update: Passan clarifies the matter in his article for Yahoo! Sports, saying Louisville Slugger bought its exclusive rights by making a charitable donation to an MLB partner. According to the agreement, other companies can make pink bats for use on Mother’s Day, but those bats must not include any “ribbons, corporate logos, distinguishing marks or names of charities.”

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.