Houston Astros: Potential Bullpen Trade Targets

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Option # 3: Drew Storen

Aug 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher

Drew Storen

(22) pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers in the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Another trade candidate that hasn’t necessarily been linked to the Astros yet is embattled Washington Nationals reliever, and sometimes closer, Drew Storen. But there are plenty of Houston fans wanting to see (myself included) Luhnow explore the option of adding Storen, who may need a fresh start after a tumultuous 2015 in Washington.

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After saving 43 games for the Nationals in 2011, Storen has been inserted and taken out the closer role numerous times. The latest closing carousel was set into motion after the Jonathan Papelbon acquisition from the Philadelphia Phillies during this year’s trade deadline. Before Papelbon arrived, Storen was having an arguably fine season. In the first half of the 2015 season, the 28-year old right-hander finished with a 1.89 ERA and 2.14 FIP in 33.1 innings pitched. However, in the second half, Storen saw his statistics balloon to 5.82 ERA and 3.78 FIP in 21.2 innings pitched. Needless to say that the Papelbon trade rattled the reliever. That is why a change of scenery in Houston may help him reach his full potential and help reestablish himself before he hits free agency after the 2016 season.

It does remain to be seen if the Nationals front office will consider trading Storen, especially when the organization just hired Dusty Baker and Mike Maddux as their manager and pitching coach respectively. But the cost of acquiring Storen would more likely be far less than the price for a Kimbrel or Chapman.

Buying low on a reliever that has a chance to be among any staff’s best options seems to be a move that the Astros front office would highly consider. Most bang for their buck if you will. Storen will be a nice alternative for the Astros if their options seem to fall through.

The bullpen is one area of the Astro that dramatically turned around in 2015. But after a long summer the pitching staff began to falter in the fall, which is why it is imperative that team adds another quality arm or two for their 2016 season. If there is a chance that one of those quality arms turns out to be one of the top closers in recent memory or a down on his luck pitcher who may need a change of scenery, then the Astros may as well swing for the fences. After all, this is Crush City.

Next: Astros Minors: The Astros shut A.J. Reed down for Arizona Fall League

**Statistics provided by Fangraphs & Statcast from MLB.com**

**Contract information provided by SportTrac.com**