The Blue Jays Shore Up Their Bullpen with Drew Storen and Trade Ben Revere

This does not happen very often; when a trade is pretty much universally agreed upon by fans and critics, but this one appears to be.

In the late hours on Friday night, the Blue Jays shored up their bullpen by adding reliever Drew Storen from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Ben Revere.

It’s a great trade for the Blue Jays; they dealt from a position of wealth in their outfield department and brought in some much-needed late relief help for the bullpen. What’s not to like?


MLB Trade Rumors had Ben Revere pegged to make somewhere in the $6.7 million dollar range, while Drew Storen is in line to land a slightly larger $8.8 million dollar salary. Storen is a free agent at the end of this season while Revere has one additional year of team control until 2017.

That extra year of outfielder control doesn’t really seem to matter to the Blue Jays, who were previously a team that had at least five outfielders (not even including the out-of-options Ezequiel Carrera) to occupy three starting positions and one bench spot.

With Michael Saunders hopefully on the mend and Dalton Pompey ready to return to the Blue Jays in a starting role, Ben Revere was suddenly dispensable … especially at that $6.7 million dollar price point, which would only escalate even further next season.

In his final year of arbitration, Ben Revere might be making somewhere close to $9 or $10 million dollars in 2017, which just seems like way too much for a guy who’s a good outfielder but not necessarily great.

Not that you can ever have too much offense, but the Blue Jays already have a bunch of great players … many of them elite, one of them deemed the very best in the league in 2015. Losing Revere doesn’t hurt the Blue Jays all that much.

Don’t get me wrong; Ben Revere is a fine player. Although the beginning of his tenure with the Blue Jays was a little rough, he performed tremendously down the stretch and into the playoffs.

But a pitch-to-contact guy with not very much power didn’t seem to fit very well in a lineup full of bangers.

In Drew Storen, the Blue Jays may have just found their brand new closer. Storen certainly comes with a great deal of experience, spending three of his past five seasons in Washington as the closer for the Nationals.

Given his high price tag, one would assume the closer’s job is now Storen’s to lose, but it wouldn’t be all that bad if he slotted in as the new setup man either.

The acquisition of Drew Storen also provides a few additional benefits; one, this now allows the Blue Jays to move Aaron Sanchez back into the starting rotation if they so choose.


Peter Gammons heard whispers about the Jays leaning towards moving Aaron Sanchez back into the rotation. Bringing in Drew Storen might only expedite that process to convert Sanchez back into a starting pitcher.

It sounds like Sanchez is well on his way already …

It’s not a foregone conclusion now, but with Storen in the back end of the bullpen, the Jays might not be pushing so hard to keep Sanchez as a reliever and instead maximize his contributions in the starting rotation.

Secondly, it’s also an insurance plan in case Roberto Osuna suffers from a sophomore slump. Not that I’m planning that Osuna will experience a lot of regression in 2016, but it’s good to have a backup plan just in case he falters.

I just think back to what happened to Miguel Castro; who was so highly-touted in Spring Training, was incredible the first two weeks of the season, and then found himself in Buffalo shortly thereafter.

Most are hoping Roberto Osuna will have a long and successful career with the Blue Jays (either as a starter or reliever), but wouldn’t necessarily pencil him in as this team’s closer for their entire 2016 campaign.


Now the Blue Jays have a backup plan with a lot of high leverage relief experience. The Jays’ glaring weaknesses in the bullpen have now been addressed and they are in much better shape. The Blue Jays are down a man, but outfielders were a dime a dozen in Toronto this offseason.

Ultimately, this trade worked out very well for the Blue Jays. It was a simple deal (almost too simple?) that shipped out some surplus talent and parlayed it into some sought-after relief help.

The Blue Jays’ bullpen may not be in the upper echelon along with the Royals, Yankees and Red Sox, but it’s quite serviceable and actually might surprise a lot of people in 2016. The addition of Drew Storen will go a long way to exceeding those expectations.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.