By Bob Elliott
Blue Jays boss Mark Shapiro doesn’t fool around when he makes a deal.
For left fielder Ben Revere and a player to be named, Shapiro obtained for the Blue Jays ... the established right arm of closer Drew Storen from the Washington Nationals.
And for the Rogers Communications in general and The Fan in particular he could he have added negotiating rights to broadcaster Mark Patrick?
Patrick’s full name is Mark Patrick Storen. He’s from Indianapolis and is Drew Storen’s father. Patrick used to share co-host duties with Buck Martinez’s on MLB Network on satellite radio.
Storen goes into the Jays’ media guide alongside Scott Rolen since both were obtained the same day of the annual Baseball Canada fund raiser. Acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals for Troy Glaus in 2008, Rolen stole headlines from Ryan Dempster.
And Storen became the lead item ahead of retiring lefty Jeff Francis, whose name was added to the Wall of Fame Saturday.
Peter Orr knew Storen from his days with the Nationals and Revere from their time with the Philadelphia Phillies before Alex Anthopoulos dealt for the left fielder at the trade deadline.
“It was like trading one nice guy for another nice guy,” said Orr at Saturday’s banquet.
Closer John Axford watched Storen’s career: 43 saves in 2011, losing the job, free agent Rafael Soriano arriving, getting the job back and losing it last year when Jonathan Papelbon was acquired from the Phillies.
Axford experienced something similar (to Soriano) when the Milwaukee Brewers added Francisco Rodriguez in 2011 and there was a closer controversy, which he said Rodriguez defused.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Drew’s watching the way he handled things,” said Axford, now with the Oakland A’s. “I respected the way he reacted whether good or bad.
“He had the closer’s job, lost it, got it back and lost it again.”
Now, that Storen is a Jay it’s uncertain whether he or Roberto Osuna will close. General manager Ross Atkins told reporters in a conference call he was happy to have options.
Once you’ve had that ninth-inning job, you want to keep it. We could be looking at a spring training competition.
When asked about setting up or closing Storen told reporters “it’s something for me that’s not that important. I’ve dealt with it before and I know no matter what, any of those last nine outs are important.
Storen had an ERA of 1.12 ERA in 2014. His ERA last year was 1.73 with 29 saves in 31 chances on July 28 when Papelbon arrived.
After that? He had a 6.75 ERA with three blown saves.
Besides being a great broadcaster Storen’s pop is pals with Ron McClain, legendary Montreal Expos trainer, who is from Indianapolis. So, when the Expos visited either Cincinnati or St. Louis he sometimes serve as the Expos bat boy. In 2004, he chatted with Expos reliever Chad Cordero.
Storen was a teenager fresh from pitching in a summer tournament in faraway Omaha and the conversation helped inspire the youngster.
“At the time all I wanted was play college ball,” said Storen. “That was an incredible opportunity for me to get a feel of what big-league baseball was like. And it made me want to be a big leaguer more.”
Selected 10th over all by the Nationals from Stanford, Storen went nine picks after Washington picked Stephen Strasburg first over-all and 10 spots before the Jays took Chad Jenkins.
“He got to the big leaguers quicker than Stasburg,” said Chris Reitsma, Team Canada pitching coach, who pitched seven years in the majors.
Never second guess a man with a knee-buckling, Frank Howard-like handshake.
Storen made his Nationals debut May 17, 2010, while Strasburg arrived June 8, 2010.
With Revere gone, Troy Tulowitzki is the only holdover since the Anthopoulos Airlift of last July. David Price signed with Boston, Mark Lowe with Detroit, Cliff Pennington with the Angels and LaTroy Hawkins retired,
Storen is a year from free agency and not the only who needs to be locked up or he can walk away next winter’s free agent wonderland. Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, R.A. Dickey, Brett Cecil, Jesse Chavez and Storen are all on the final year of their deals.
The Jays are deeper in the bullpen with this deal and who knows ... when is the last time you heard a Jays radio interview begin with “well dad, the thing about that pitch was ...”