Outfielder Grady Sizemore, designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Tuesday and released the next day, has cleared waivers according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Sizemore is now a free agent, and he is already drawing interest from other clubs. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Phillies are one of several teams expressing interest in the nine-year veteran.
Sizemore, 31, made his return to the big leagues after a two-year layoff due to injuries. He got off to a hot start with the Red Sox, posting a .966 OPS over his first ten games. Between April 15 and June 15, however, Sizemore mustered a meager .187/.263/.267 with no home runs and 11 RBI in 167 plate appearances.
The Phillies don’t have room for Sizemore in the outfield currently, with Domonic Brown in left field, Ben Revere in center, and Marlon Byrd in right with John Mayberry, Jr. serving as the fourth outfielder. However, if the Phillies fall behind in the NL East over the next month, it’s likely they would explore trading Byrd and/or Mayberry, which would open up a spot for Sizemore. CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury recently reported that the Yankees and Red Sox had scouts at Phillies games looking at Mayberry.
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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.