Washington Nationals to shop Drew Storen at Winter Meetings


The Washington Nationals are expected to shop closer Drew Storen at the Winter Meetings this week, according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. The move would be just one of many steps the club is taking this winter to completely revamp its bullpen.

Storen has been one of the better closers in baseball in recent years, but seemed destined to be traded this winter when the Nationals acquired Jonathan Papelbon at the July trade deadline. Storen had posted a sub-2.00 ERA up to that point, but fell apart after being moved out of his ninth-inning role and watched his season go down the drain.

The trade was the second time Washington had replaced Storen as closer, the first coming when they signed Rafael Soriano prior to the 2013 season. Aside from famous struggles in the 2011 National League Divisional Series, Storen has never really given the Nationals a reason to replace him, but has time and time again been overlooked as a reliable option in the ninth inning.

That being said, it seems the relationship between the two parties has worsened, and the former 10th-overall pick will be used as trade bait. With Aroldis Chapman potentially coming off the trade market Monday, Storen will likely garner plenty of interest from teams that still need bullpen help. The Astros reportedly have interest in the Stanford product, and the two parties could potentially match up in a deal landing the Nationals Colby Rasmus, Carlos Gomez or Jake Marisnick to man center field.

Next: Winter Meetings: Cubs Still Have Work To Do

Washington would likely prefer to deal Papelbon, but between his $11-million 2016 price tag, his baggage and the grievance he has filed against the team, the Nationals would almost have to trade talent elsewhere for nothing just get him off their hands as things sit. The six-time All-Star seems more likely to be a trade candidate later in the offseason, when the market has thinned out and clubs become more desperate.