Derek Jeter’s farewell tour continued Wednesday evening in Arlington, Texas …
Those are custom Yankees cowboy boots, presented by Michael Young (left) and Ivan Rodriguez (right).
And that’s a picture of Jeter and George W. Bush from the 2001 World Series, signed and presented by the former president himself at home plate on Wednesday. Those shots come courtesy of Mark Feinsand from the New York Daily News. Bush, you might remember, made a surprise visit at Game 3 of the 2001 World Series — when the Fall Classic shifted from Arizona’s Bank One Ballpark to Yankee Stadium — and was encouraged by Jeter to throw the ball from the mound instead of in front of it. Bush’s visit Wednesday at Globe Life Park was also a surprise. This clip does a good job of summing up that night in 2001 and the security presence around the Bronx for the first World Series game in New York after the September 11 attacks …
Jeter also received a $10,000 check from the Rangers for his Turn 2 Foundation, which helps at-risk youths.
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.