A-Rod: Bud Selig is trying to destroy me

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A-Rod bolted today’s hearing, and headed straight to Mike Francessa’s show on WFAN.

They’re talking as if it was a spontaneous eruption, but it’s almost as if it was planned that way.

Rodriguez and his lawyer, Joe Tacopina, were on the show (link here). It’ll likely be archived there later. For what it’s worth, A-Rod is fired up: “I’m so pissed off right now I can’t even think straight.” He is ripping into Bud Selig. He said Selig is “trying to destroy me. To put me on his big mantle on the way out, that’s a hell of a trophy.”

Other choice soundbites:

  • “I know [Selig doesn’t] like New York, but you gotta come face me.”
  • “And [Selig] doesn’t have the courage to come and tell me this is why I’m gonna destroy your career?”
  • “People have told me ‘I hate your guts, but what MLB is doing to you is disgusting.’ ”

Rodriguez said he was planning on testifying on Friday, but now that Bud Selig is not testifying, he is unwilling to go back.

A-Rod and Tacopina’s position: Major League Baseball has not carried its burden of proof. Indeed, Tacopina said that the league hasn’t put on a shred of evidence to justify a suspension and that if MLB came to him today with an offer of a 50-game suspension, A-Rod would turn it down. “He shouldn’t serve an inning.” he said.

Whether A-Rod is there or not, the panel will eventually make a decision. And it if it’s not to his liking, A-Rod’s appeal rights are severely limited, as courts tend not to review employment arbitration decisions. So there is no escaping the fact that by turning up the heat like he has, A-Rod is playing a dangerous game.

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.