The news on Angels right-hander Garrett Richards’ knee injury is as bad as feared: He’s been diagnosed with a torn patellar tendon and will undergo surgery.
He’s expected to be sidelined for 6-9 months, which means he may not be ready for the beginning of next season and could be out well into the first half.
Richards’ leg buckled underneath him as he went to cover first base on a potential double-play ball last night and he was down for nearly 10 minutes before being carted off the field in obvious pain.
It’s a huge blow to the Angels and Richards, who at age 26 had taken a major step forward this season with a 2.61 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 169 innings after coming into the year with a career 4.42 ERA.
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.