JB: Jays deal from depth for relief help in AL East bullpen race

Blue Jays Get Relief: Trade Ben Revere for Drew Storen
By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
For the second time this winter, the Blue Jays have made a trade that will add a player who will be expected to contribute significantly to the 2016 club.

The word came down on Friday night that the Blue Jays have traded outfielder Ben Revere and a player to be named later for reliever Drew Storen and cash. The Blue Jays are trading from a position of depth with Michael Saunders, Dalton Pompey and Ezequiel Carrera ready to play left field and add to their bullpen by acquiring Storen. 

Those who may think that the Blue Jays made the trade in order to take the cheap route and shed themselves of Revere’s projected $6.7 million salary are mistaken: Storen is projected to make $8.8 million in his last year of arbitration. The teams will split the difference on the cost.

We know what the Blue Jays are trading: a pesky hitter who can get on base, mainly through singles and who steals bases well. Revere hit .306/.342/.377 overall last year with 31 stolen bases with a .319 average and .354 OBP with the Blue Jays.

Storen, on the other hand, is a back-end of the bullpen option that allows the Blue Jays a little more flexibility with some of their other pitchers. Storen has a career ERA of 3.02 and 1.13 WHIP over 334 major league innings with 95 saves, all with the Washington Nationals. Storen posted a career-high strikeout rate last year (29.4%) while walking 7.0% of batters.

Storen, 28, can slot in as the Jays’ closer, allowing them to push Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez and Brett Cecil up. In all likelihood, however, this move really allows the Blue Jays to bring Sanchez or Osuna into the starting rotation more earnestly without having to worry so much about who’s going to pitch at the end of the game. 

The bullpen is getting a little crowded now: the Jays have Storen, Sanchez, Osuna and Cecil locked in with Steve Delabar, Chad Jenkins, Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera, Bo Schultz and Pat Venditte all vying for three or four slots. Also in the conversation are Drew Hutchison and Jesse Chavez, one of whom will almost certainly be in the rotation. Of note is that Delabar and Jenkins are both out of options.

It’s all about depth: the Blue Jays traded from a deep position in left field giving the opportunity to play everyday in 2016 to Michael Saunders and Dalton Pompey (or both in a platoon-type situation), barring a further move. By trading from depth, the Blue Jays have successfully lengthened their bullpen or, if they want to go this route, allows them to move one of Sanchez or Osuna into the rotation without seriously impacting the back end.

 

This is a good trade that helps both teams.

 

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Jay Blue

A lifelong Toronto Blue Jays fan, Jay Blue started blogging about the Jays when he was living in Berlin, Germany. He founded his own blog, Blue Jays from Away, to write about developments with his home town team, focusing on the Jays' minor league system. When he's not watching baseball, he is usually on the diamond umpiring or he's pursuing his research interests in the field of ethnomusicology.