Even teams in the middle of youth movements need some experienced players on their roster. The Cincinnati Reds, looking to add a veteran presence to their bullpen, locked down a former closer on Tuesday. Drew Storen will join the Reds on a one-year, $3 million deal next season. The agreement also allows for Storen to earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses. Storen will also get a $500,000 assignment bonus if Cincinnati trades him. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was first to break the news.
breaking: drew storen agrees to reds deal. $3M plus $1.5M performance bonuses, 500K assignment bonus if traded
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 3, 2017
Reds Sign Drew Storen for One Year
Storen is still relatively young, at just 29 years old, and spent most of his career thus far in the nation’s capitol. The right-hander came up with the Washington Nationals in 2010, and pitched there through the 2015 season. He quickly emerged as the Nationals closer, though was always plagued by bouts of inconsistency. He set career highs in 2011, when he recorded 43 saves and 74 strikeouts in 75.1 innings pitched. In 2014, he set career-best marks in ERA and WHIP at 1.12 and 0.98, respectively.
The following season, however, the Nationals brought in Jonathan Papelbon to replace Storen as the closer. Though the Papelbon experiment did not exactly work out, Storen did not get his job back. In 2016, he left to join the Toronto Blue Jays. In the far North, Storen faltered; he allowed 23 earned runs in 33.1 innings, and the Blue Jays eventually shipped him off to the Seattle Mariners for Joaquin Benoit.
Though he tossed just 18.1 innings for Seattle, he did show some improvement. If he can carry that over to the Reds, they will have found a solid veteran option to bolster their pen at a low price. However, Storen very well may never again be what he was during his best years with the Nats. Either way, his presence won’t be what puts the Reds back into contention. They will still have to hope their young guys continue to develop, and their farm system continues to provide reinforcements.