Yadier Molina suspended one game and fined after Sunday’s ejection

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Major League Baseball announced this evening that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for making contact with umpire Mike Everitt following his ejection yesterday. Molina has appealed the ruling and is in the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks.

Molina was ejected yesterday after he was called out on a close play at first base in the third inning. The Cardinals’ backstop threw his helmet in frustration, which resulted in the ejection from first base umpire Clint Fagan and a heated confrontation. Everitt, who was the second base umpire, ran over in an attempt to restore some order. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was also ejected for coming out to restrain and defend Molina.

It’s worth noting that Everitt told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he thought the contact from Molina was “incidental.” Still, MLB decided to send a message. The guess here is that Molina gets out of the suspension, but pays the fine.

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.