Joe Maddon is not worried about angry umps

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The Rays have had a lot of run-ins with the umpires this season. David Price and that whole deal with Tom Hallion. Joe Maddon’s multiple ejections. But Maddon tells Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he’s not worried about retaliation or getting boned on future calls:

“You only get a bad reputation if the complaints are not warranted,” he said. “I think if you cry wolf, if you argue at the inappropriate times, if you’re always on the field just to make noise, that’s different. But I think if they’re warranted, I think then you gain even more respect.”

Joe Maddon has been around this game for a long, long time. You’d think by now that he’d know that umpires don’t really work that way.

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.