The Mariners and Athletics were postponed last night due to poor field conditions

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Weird stuff happening at O.Co Coliseum? Well, I’ll be.

The Mariners and Athletics were postponed at O.Co Coliseum in Oakland last night despite nothing but blue skies. While it was an odd sight, the decision was made because the infield just wasn’t safe enough to play on. In fact, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon told Greg Johns of MLB.com that it was “probably the worst conditions I’ve seen in all my years in baseball.”

The infield was in poor shape because it was not covered by a tarp during a rainstorm Thursday night into Friday morning. According to Athletics vice president of stadium operations David Rinetti, they weren’t expecting as much rain as they ended up getting and they simply failed to get the field ready in time.

“We had information last night that there was going to be a break in the storm,” Rinetti said. “And because of that, we wanted to use that opportunity to help dry out the field. Unfortunately we were wrong on the amount of rain, and we got about a third of an inch of rain last night. We did not have the tarp on the field.

“We got here this morning, the infield was under water, and we did everything possible starting at 7 a.m. to get the field ready for tonight,” he said. “Our grounds crew worked tirelessly to get the field ready, and unfortunately, after we met with the managers and the umpires, it was deemed that the field was not going to be ready to play on tonight.”

The hope is that the field will be playable by 4:05 p.m. ET this afternoon.

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.