Adam Kilgore has an interesting article up about the job status of Nationals GM Mike Rizzo. The Nats just extended him per the terms of his current deal, so sure, that’s a vote of confidence. But there is some weirdness afoot too:
In April, Mark Lerner, the Nationals’ principal owner, told the Washington Times that the team had begun talks to sign Rizzo to a multiyear deal. Those talks, according to people familiar with the situation, have not happened.
And when is a contract extension not the most welcome thing in the world? Maybe when you’re riding high and believe you deserve a new deal altogether that ups your salary more significantly.
Palace intrigue and Kremlinology isn’t the most important thing in baseball, but it is kinda interesting.
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.