The Cincinnati Reds added a strong piece to manager Bryan Price’s late-inning arsenal Tuesday by signing right-handed reliever Drew Storen.
Reliever Drew Storen, Reds Agree To $3M, One-Year Deal
Storen, 29, grew up a Reds fan in Brownsburg, Indiana.
“For Halloween I was Chris Sabo multiple times as a kid, so it’s kind of nice to have my own name on a jersey,” he said after the signing was announced.
The Reds signed Storen to a $3 million, one-year contract. The veteran reliever can make an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses under the deal announced Tuesday. He would earn $500,000 if traded.
Storen went 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA in 57 appearances last season for Toronto and Seattle, which mainly used him in roles other than closer. He had three saves in four opportunities as the 2016 season was the worst of his career.
Storen earned over $8 million per year when he split time between the Blue Jays and the Mariners. That came after six dominant seasons with the Washington Nationals, who selected him with the No. 10 pick in the first round of the 2009 draft.
“In Toronto I was throwing more inconsistently than I ever had before,” he said. “It was tough because I had been used quite a bit in Washington.”
General manager Dick Williams said signing Storen could be the Reds’s most important move in improving their bullpen, which gave up an MLB record 103 homers last season and led the league in walks. Overall, the team allowed 258 homers, shattering the previous MLB record.
“He is a guy we’ve had our eye on for a while,” said Williams, who added the club liked his control and experience pitching late in games. “We hope to get him back in some of these higher leverage situations and we think that command will still be there and he will fit in nicely with the guys we’ve got.”
Storen will be one of several players competing for the closer job during spring training. The Reds had merely 28 saves in 53 chances.
”One of the primary targets for us in terms of addressing our bullpen was getting a guy that did have experience at the back end,” Williams said. ”Also, we had trouble throwing strikes last year. Drew has been a consistent performer.”
TORONTO, CANADA – JUNE 10: Drew Storen #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the tenth inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles on June 10, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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