Relief pitcher Drew Storen to return from Tommy John surgery with the Royals

The Royals and right-handed relief pitcher Drew Storen on Friday reached a minor-league agreement to add the former closer to the club’s bullpen options. The deal came with an invitation to big-league spring training.

Storen underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2017 and did not pitch in the majors in 2018. If he makes the major-league roster, Storen’s deal with the Royals would pay him $1.25 million and includes another $900,000 in performance bonuses a source told The Star. Storen can also opt out of the deal up until March 25.

Storen, 31, posted a 43-save season with the Washington Nationals in 2011 and saved 29 games for the club in 2015. The Nationals traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays before the 2016 season, and the Blue Jays traded him to the Seattle Mariners during that same season.

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Before the 2017 season, Storen signed a one-year, $3 million free-agent deal with the Cincinnati Reds. He was 4-2 with a 4.45 ERA and one save. He struck out 48 batters in 54 2/3 innings that season and made the fourth-most appearances of any pitcher in the Reds’ bullpen.

Since the beginning of February, the Royals have already added relief pitchers Brad Boxberger and Jake Diekman as well as starting pitching candidate Homer Bailey.

MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal first reported the Storen deal.

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.