Cincinnati Reds off-season priority – sign Drew Storen to a multi-year deal

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

With Drew Storen undergoing Tommy John surgery, he is a great player for the Cincinnati Reds to sign to an incentive laden deal.

Drew Storen may not have gotten the Cincinnati Reds any prospects, but he is helping the rebuild.  He provided both flexibility and experience to a young bullpen.  Now the Reds should keep him around to show the young players how a season long rehab is done with his rehab from Tommy John surgery.

Storen signed a one-year $3-million free agent contract last off-season.  Originally, the plan was for him to share the closing duties with Raisel Iglesias, but Iglesias quickly took control of the role.  At that point Storen became the man of many roles.

Prior to the injury, Storen pitched 54 2/3 innings over 58 games.  He also allowed a career high in walks at 23 and a career high in batting average against at .271.  Storen also had a career low of one save in 2017.

This injury didn’t exact sneak up on the Reds.  Storen was doing fine through July and then suddenly hit hard times in August.  In thirteen games in August Storen had an ERA of 8.25.

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The previous four months, Storen’s worst monthly ERA was 4.82 in July.  His worst monthly WHIP was 1.60 in May until 2.06 in August.  Something was clearly wrong with Storen before they finally shut him down for the season.

Prior to signing with the Cincinnati Reds, Drew Storen was an elite reliever for most of his career.

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Storen has 99 career saves in 123 attempts.  He also has 88 holds and 187 games finished over 470 career games.  Those are the stats of a back of the bullpen reliever.

His best season was 2011 with the Washington Nationals.  He saved 43 games in 48 attempts over 73 games.  He also struck  out 74 in 75 1/3 innings.

Storen also had an elite year in 2015 with the Nationals.  He collected 29 saves in 34 attempts over 58 games.  He also struck out 67 in just 55 innings of work.

Last season, Storen pitched in the American League.  He had a rough first 2/3 of the season with the Toronto Blue Jays.  Once he moved to the Seattle Mariners, he was more himself.

The Mariners used him in a manner similar to the way the Reds used him this season.  He made nineteen appearances covering 18 1/3 innings, striking out sixteen.  He only had two holds, but was able to maintain a WHIP of 0.87.

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That is the pitcher that the Reds could have on their roster for opening day 2019.  If they sign Storen to a two-year incentive laden deal, he will be around during his rehab.  If they don’t, some other team will sign him to a one year deal after next season and the Reds will have missed the boat.