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Cubs interested in trading for Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard

Dec 9, 2013, 6:29 PM EDT

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The Cubs are one of a handful of clubs without a closer and it appears that they could turn to the trade market to fill the role.

According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs are eying deals for Nationals relievers Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard among other possibilities. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post confirms the report and adds that the Nationals are expected to listen on Storen.

Storen struggled as a set-up man this past season, posting a 4.52 ERA in 68 appearances while even spending some time in the minors. Meanwhile, Clippard was his usual dominant self, putting up a 2.41 ERA and 73/24 K/BB ratio over 71 innings. Both pitchers are due raises in arbitration this winter.

Kilgore categorizes the talks as “extremely early,” but sees outfielder Nate Schierholtz and left-hander James Russell as possible fits with Washington.

  1. hoopmatch - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Until you have a team that can contend for division title, I don’t see how a closer is terribly important. Cubs should just concentrate on developing the players they have.

    • dan1111 - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      Yeah, I don’t get it. Trading for a “proven closer” is nearly always an overpay, and it is usually not hard to find a decent reliever who can fill the role on the cheap. Rebuilding teams should be in the business of creating proven closers, not trading for them.

  2. natstowngreg - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Storen is talented, and improved after some remedial work in Syracuse. However, both he and Clippard are reaching that place where the Nats have to think seriously about keeping them at significantly higher prices.

    Schierholtz is a useful lefty bench bat, though it’s not clear where he would fit. They would have Scott Hairston and Tyler Moore as RH bats, Nate McLouth as LH bat, Jhonaton Solano as backup C, and a utility infielder to be named later (maybe Danny Espinosa, maybe a FA to be signed). Granted, injuries happen, so getting him some AB might not be an issue. Russell throws left-handed, which is enough.

  3. NatsLady - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    I don’t think Rizzo will part with Clippard, even though he is getting expensive.

    Storen, as noted above, was much improved after his trip to Syracuse, where he revamped his mechanics (and perhaps also, his head). It’s also possible that Rizzo could move Stammen, another righty (long reliever, spot starter). He’s got Ohlendorf for that role, as well as whoever loses the competition for 5th starter among Taylor Jordan, Tanner Roark and Ross Detwileer. Of those, only Detwiler is left-handed.

  4. blovy8 - Dec 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Stammen would be cheaper with the same amount of team control, but it even less useful for the current Cubs team. If Storen can close for them he becomes a chip in a future deal the Cubs might be able to make. Stammen and Russell would be fairly equal, but I think Rizzo needs more than Russell for Storen, since it shouldn’t really be about salary relief yet, and he doesn’t need to sell low on the guy

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