The Washington Nationals practically pushed Drew Storen towards leaving by signing Jonathan Papelbon, which directly affected, and not in a good way, Storen’s ability. The Houston Astros have shown interest, but not as their closer, instead some other role in the bullpen.
Storen has been with the Nationals since 2010, sometimes as a closer. He was terrific in 2014 with a 1.12 ERA through 65 games and 56.1 innings. It set him up for a big 2015 season, but the moment Papelbon joined the team, things went South. And not just for him.
Storen had a 6.75 ERA following Papelbon’s arrival, so it’s safe to say Bryce Harper wasn’t the only unhappy player with the trade acquisition from Philadelphia. Storen finished the season with a 3.44 ERA and 29 saves (out of 34 opportunities) posting a career high 11 strikeouts per nine innings.
He hits free agency only after the 2017 season, and doesn’t have too much of a contract that’s a problem to move. The Nationals need to figure out if Storen has sorted things out for him heading into the 2016 season, or maybe his time with the ball club is over, and he needs a fresh start somewhere else, regardless of the role he’ll be given in Houston.