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Nationals interested in Grant Balfour; would like to trade Drew Storen

Jan 19, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT

Drew Storen Getty Getty Images

After a flubbed signing with the Orioles, free agent reliever Grant Balfour has recently drawn some interest from the Nationals, Ken Rosenthal reports on FOX Sports. The Nationals have a trio of relievers who could close, but as Rosenthal explains, they would prefer Rafael Soriano‘s $14 million option for 2015 not to vest and for Tyler Clippard to remain in the set-up role. They would also like to trade Drew Storen.

In his second year of arbitration eligibility, Storen will earn $3.5 million in 2014 and can become a free agent after the 2016 season. Rather than explore signing the 26-year-old to an extension, the Nationals would prefer to trade him as he is coming off of his worst season in four years as a Major Leaguer. Storen posted a 4.52 ERA in 61 2/3 innings. However, he was noticeably better after returning from a demotion to Triple-A Syracuse from August 2-14. Between August 16, his first start back in the big leagues, and the end of the season, Storen posted a 1.40 ERA in 19 1/3 innings. According to a report, Storen added a quick leg kick and altered his arm slot.

As for Balfour, the Orioles claim they backed out of their two-year, $15 million deal with Balfour due to wrist and knee concerns, rather than his right shoulder. He is coming off of four consecutive seasons with at least 55 innings pitched and a sub-2.60 ERA.

  1. nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 19, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Balfour’s other merits aside, his name is one of the 4 greatest of pitchers in MLB history. The others of course are Bob Walk, Rollie Fingers and Bill Hands.

    • goskinsvt - Jan 19, 2014 at 9:07 PM


    • dcfan4life - Jan 19, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      Ball Four is a bad thing, so how would a pitcher with a name that means he walked someone be one of the greatest names ever?

    • pbastille - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      Mike Armstrong, Josh Outman, and Homer Bailey aren’t bad either

  2. ckhoss29 - Jan 19, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Josh Outman much better pitcher name than any mentioned

    • dan1111 - Jan 20, 2014 at 6:52 AM

      Not as good as Will Strikeouteveryone.

  3. weaselpuppy - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    Ummm, we’d have taken him in the Fister deal instead of Lombardozzi


    every Tigers Fan

  4. natstowngreg - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Makes sense, given Storen’s situation. Clearly, Rizzo has decided Drew isn’t part of the team’s core, unlike Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond. Meanwhile, Storen is getting too expensive for his role, and it doesn’t look like his role will get bigger in Washington. The Nats aren’t going to give Storen the bigger bucks on an extension. So he goes to a team willing to take a chance on him in a bigger role. Balfour would make more in the short term, but the Nats could commit to him for only two seasons.

    Balfour, with Soriano, Clippard, Blevins and Stammen, makes a nice bullpen for a contender. Storen, after regaining his form late last season, gets a fresh start. This could work well for all parties.

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