Finally, the Reds have signed someone! And it’s a good signing, as far as I’m concerned:
Quiet all offseason, the Reds did not wait long after the holidays to make their first big league contract signing. On Tuesday, they addressed their bullpen by signing veteran reliever Drew Storen to a one-year, $3 million contract.
There are additional bonus incentives worth up to $1.5 million, and Storen will also get a $500,000 assignment bonus if he is traded.
Storen, of course, was a closer during his time with the Washington Nationals, racking up 43 saves back in 2011 and 29 in 2015, when he lost his job to that Papelbon numbskull. While he was not good last year in 57 games with Toronto and Seattle, he wasn’t quite as bad as his 5.23 ERA might suggest. I predict that Storen will win the closer’s role in Cincinnati to begin the season.
In the end, he’s just 29 and just a year removed from this description:
Storen’s coming off a season with a career-best strikeout rate and his fastest fastball in years, and his breaking ball has started to look like the one that Jose Fernandez throws.
Given the amount of money the Reds are committing, Storen is worth the gamble. He has something to prove, and if all goes well, the Reds may be able to flip him for a useful part at the trade deadline. Or maybe he’ll work his way into the team’s plans, who knows? It doesn’t hurt that he’s something of a local kid; Storen was a high school teammate of Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart.
C. Trent Rosecrans had a ton of interesting information from Storen’s press availability (with GM Dick Williams) earlier today. Here are the tweets, and here’s Zach Buchanan’s story for the Enquirer.