CINCINNATI – The Reds haven't had much success reclaiming used arms but they won't stop trying.
They signed 29-year-old reliever Drew Storen – coming off his worst season – to a one-year contract Tuesday. It was their first free-agent signing of the offseason.
The right-hander was 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA and 1.335 WHIP in 57 games with the Blue Jays and Mariners last year. But the Reds must be encouraged by his 1.59 ERA in his last 18 appearances. He was on the DL for two weeks in August and September with shoulder inflammation.
The Reds could also be hoping the Indianapolis native can recover his earlier magic - he's only three years removed from a 1.12 ERA and 0.976 WHIP in 65 games with the Nationals in 2014.
If so, he might wind up the closer.
Either way, he couldn't be worse than the some of the arms in the Reds' bullpen last year. At one point, the Reds bullpen was - statistically - the worst in major-league history.
The Reds got Storen relatively cheap, according to baseball insider Jon Heyman: $3 million plus $1.5M performance bonuses, 500K assignment bonus if traded. That's half as much as Storen made last year: $8.375 million.
But it's a step up in spending for the low-budget Reds. Storen becomes the second-highest paid pitcher on the team behind Homer Bailey.
Storen pitched six seasons with the Nats after they drafted him in the first round (10th overall) in 2009 until they traded him to Toronto a year ago.
Storen was a high-school teammate of Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart at Brownsburg (Indiana) High School.