WASHINGTON — While the Toronto Blue Jays are only two games under .500 and the non-waiver trade deadline is still 71 days away, veteran reliever and former Washington National Drew Storen is already available.
This comes as a report by Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, who noted that scouts from seven Major League teams, including the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins, were in town for the Jays-Twins series this weekend.
It is unknown how many of those teams would be interested in Storen, but Elliott names Storen as “one name of a player that the Blue Jays have told teams is available.”
Storen had a masterful start to his career in Washington, the team that took him with its second pick in the 2009 draft, after taking Stephen Strasburg No. 1 overall. His best season was in 2014 when he compiled a 1.12 ERA over 56.1 innings. Over six seasons in Washington, he had a 3.02 ERA with 97 saves in nearly 350 innings pitched.
But his time in Washington ended on a down note, as the former closer was deposed by the addition of Jonathan Papelbon, and was ineffective as a setup man. He was shipped to Toronto in the offseason in a deal that netted the Nats leadoff man Ben Revere.
Storen is off to a rough start north of the border, carrying a 0-2 record in 18 appearances, and an ugly 7.80 ERA. He did, however, turn in a solid performance with the scouts in attendance, pitching a clean seventh inning on Friday with his team ahead 9-2.
Results haven’t been much better for the other side of the deal, although Revere has finally started to heat up at the plate after missing 27 games earlier this season with an oblique injury. Since last Sunday, he has nearly doubled his batting average from a season-low of .093 to a more respectable .182.
Even if he has worn out his welcome in Toronto, it would be highly unusual to see him moved this early, unless the Blue Jays are willing to eat a considerable portion of his salary ($8.38 million). As such, he will likely be given every opportunity to work things out for a team that is expected to win the American League East.
A previous version of this story stated the Nationals took Storen with their first pick in the 2009 draft.