Taylor Jordan likely to replace injured Dan Haren in Nationals’ rotation

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Dan Haren is headed to the disabled list with a shoulder injury and Tom Schad of MLB.com reports that the Nationals will likely call up pitching prospect Taylor Jordan to replace him in the rotation.

Jordan returned from Tommy John elbow surgery last year and didn’t crack Baseball America‘s list of top 10 Nationals prospects coming into this season, but he’s been incredibly good with a 0.95 ERA and 71/14 K/BB ratio in 85 innings between high Single-A and Double-A.

He’d be arriving in the majors with just 49 total innings above Single-A, but Jordan is 24 years old with five seasons of pro experience and the 6-foot-3 right-hander has a mid-90s fastball.

Haren, who signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Nationals this offseason, has a 6.15 ERA in 15 starts while serving up a league-high 19 homers.

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.