Nationals trade Drew Storen to the Blue Jays for Ben Revere

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The Nationals have traded reliever Drew Storen to the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. James Wagner of the Washington Post adds that the Nationals will also receive a player to be named later and the Blue Jays will receive cash considerations.

Storen, 28, is entering his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $8.8 million according to MLB Trade Rumors. The right-hander has had a tumultuous tenure with the Nationals. He started out the 2015 season in exquisite fashion, posting a 1.73 ERA through his first 38 appearances.

However, the Nationals acquired Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies near the end of July, and he usurped the closer’s role from Storen. Between Papelbon’s arrival and September 9, Storen — pitching mostly in the eighth inning and in lower-leverage situations — compiled a 6.75 ERA with worse strikeout and walk rates. Storen’s season ended after his September 9 appearance against the Mets, as he broke his thumb slamming his locker in anger.

It remains to be seen if Storen will assume the Blue Jays’ role as closer from Roberto Osuna, or if he will set up. The club should provide some clarity on the situation in the near future.

Revere, 27, hit a combined .306/.342/.377 between the Phillies and Blue Jays. The Phillies sent him to Toronto at the trade deadline for two minor league pitchers. Revere has two more years of arbitration eligibility left and his projected to earn $6.6 million by MLB Trade Rumors.

Michael Taylor was expected to get a shot at playing every day for the Nationals with Denard Span hitting free agency, but instead, Revere will handle center field and lead off for the Nationals.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.