When Derek Jeter was pulled for a pinch-runner in the sixth inning Saturday, the hope was the Yankees were just preserving him in a 12-6 game. However, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported three innings later that Jeter was taken out due to soreness around the ankle he broke in the postseason last year.
Jeter singled in a run in his final at-bat Saturday. The half-inning before, he fielded a grounder at short a little awkwardly and threw wide of the bag at first, giving Jonny Gomes a single (they don’t call errors on Jeter at Yankee Stadium).
Jeter was back at shortstop today after DHing last night. His status going forward is very uncertain at this point. Maybe he can DH, but it’s not like he’s much of an asset there. The Yankees would prefer to continue to rotate Alfonso Soriano and Curtis Granderson in that spot. Jeter has very little range at shortstop with his legs giving him so much trouble — he suffered setbacks with his quad and calf as he rehabbed the ankle — but given that the alternative is Eduardo Nunez, Jeter might still be the team’s best option when he’s able to play.
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.