Last week, we learned that Indians outfielder Leonys Martin was placed on the 10-day disabled list with what was being described as a “non-baseball condition.” Manager Terry Francona called Martin’s ailment “intestinal turmoil,” which didn’t sound very pleasant.
Martin has actually been battling a life-threatening bacterial infection that has affected multiple organs, Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti told the media on Monday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Antonetti said “progress will be measured in weeks, not days.”
The Indians acquired Martin from the Tigers ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. He played six games with his new team before going on the DL. Greg Allen and Rajai Davis figure to get most of the playing time in center field while Martin is out.
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.