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Adrian Beltre retires

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Legendary third baseman and future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre announced his retirement this morning.

The announcement, which was not entirely unexpected, came via an official statement through the Texas Rangers. Beltre said, “After careful consideration and many sleepless nights, I have made the decision to retire from what I’ve been doing my whole life, which is playing baseball, the game I love.”

The game loved him back, as did fans and teammates at every stop he made throughout his 21-year career.

Beltre broke in with the Dodgers as a teenager in 1998 and played in Los Angeles for seven seasons. From there he moved on to Seattle for a five-season stint in 2005, spent a year with the Red Sox in 2010 and then spent the final eight years of his career with the Rangers. Along the way he was a four-time All-Star and a five-time Gold Glove Award winner. He put up a career line of .286/.339/.480, slugged 477 homers and collected 3,166 hits. The numbers aside, he was considered a team leader for most of his career and it’s hard to find a more respected figure around the game.

Beltre’s future in the game will be an interesting one. If he chooses to coach or manage, he should have many opportunities to do so. No matter what he does, we know that a little over five years from now he’ll almost certainly be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

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.