Mariners Acquire Drew Storen from Blue Jays for Joaquin Benoit

On Tuesday night, the Seattle Mariners acquired right-hander Drew Storen and cash from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-hander Joaquin Benoit.

Toronto designated Storen for assignment on Sunday, a day removed from his 38th outing of the season. In those 38 outings, which added up to 33.1 innings, Storen allowed 23 earned runs on 43 hits and ten walks, giving him a 6.21 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.

The 28-year-old Storen is not long removed from his times as one of the game’s premier closers. In 2011, his second season out of the bullpen for the Washington Nationals, Storen converted 43 of 48 opportunities to saves. Last season, Storen collected 29 saves in 34 chances for the Nationals.

The Blue Jays acquired Storen over the winter in a deal the team made to bolster the back end of their bullpen; nevertheless, Storen failed to assist the team in their strides to do so.

Roberto Osuna has served as the club’s closer this season, while Jason Grilli, Joe Biagini, and Jesse Chavez have served as the club’s most durable set-up men.

Benoit, a 39-year-old reliever that made his major-league debut in 2001, is in the midst of what is on pace to be his worst statistical season since 2008. In his time with the Mariners this season, Benoit posted a 5.18 ERA and a 28:15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 26 appearances out of the bullpen for Seattle.

Benoit does have a bit of closing experience under his belt, including 35 saves across the 2013 and 2014 seasons, but he did not perform well enough to man the closer’s role for the M’s.

Steve Cishek has been Seattle’s primary closer this season, and Vidal Nuno and Nick Vincent have worked well in preceding bullpen jobs.

Storen and Benoit are both due to become free agents at the conclusion of this season. With an impending free-agent class that’s currently poised to feature big names such as Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon, it’s important for Storen and Benoit to finish their 2016 campaigns on a high note to establish value on the offseason market.

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