The Tigers finish up their series in Chicago on Wednesday night and play at home against the Royals on Friday night. For Torii Hunter, there will be some extra travel in between. He’s going to Jonesboro, Arkansas that night to see his son Monshadrik — nicknamed “Money” — play football for Arkansas State. From the Freep:
“I haven’t seen any of my sons play since they’ve been out of high school,” Hunter said. “If you’ve got that opportunity, you gotta do it. I’m going to check it out and have my jersey on and hat on, then come back ready to play on Friday. It’ll be good. I haven’t seen my boys in months.”
Hunter has three sons playing college football.
I’m torn here, of course. On the one hand I am all for dads doing whatever they can to be close to their families and don’t begrudge Hunter’s little trek one bit because family is way, way more important than sports. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel like if other players did this — players without the friends in the media Hunter has — they’d be getting criticism for all of the traveling on an off-day and would have to answer questions about it all.
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.