MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats planning to shop Storen at Meetings

Astros among possible suitors for right-hander

Nats planning to shop Storen at Meetings

WASHINGTON -- With the 2015 Baseball Winter Meetings scheduled to start on Monday, the Nationals are looking to trade reliever Drew Storen, according to three baseball sources with knowledge of the situation. It's not known what the Nationals are looking for in exchange for the right-hander.

MLB.com has confirmed an ESPN report that the Astros may consider trading for Storen. After winning the American League Wild Card this past season, the Astros are looking for relievers to help them go to the next level. If Storen were to go to the Astros, he could be a closer or setup man. Storen has done a great job doing both during the regular season, but has struggled as a closer in the postseason.

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This past season, Storen was having arguably the best season of his career -- going 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA during the first half -- until the Nationals traded for Jonathan Papelbon to become the closer. After Papelbon joined the team, Storen had a 6.75 ERA and broke his right thumb after he allowed a game-winning homer to Yoenis Cespedes in September.

After Papelbon joined the Nationals, Storen and his agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, had a meeting with general manager Mike Rizzo on July 31 in New York. While no one went into specifics, it was assumed that Storen expressed his desire to be traded.

During his Major League career with the Nationals, which dates back to 2010, Storen has lost his job as the closer three times. Coming off a 43-save season in '11, Storen started '12 on the disabled list because of an elbow injury. When he returned, he lost his job to Tyler Clippard. Storen regained the closer's role toward the end of the regular season that year.

After the season, Storen then lost the closer's job after the team acquired Rafael Soriano, who kept the job until he slumped badly during the second half of the 2014 season. Storen flourished during the month of September -- posting a 0.00 ERA over 14 appearances -- and that success carried over to the first half of '15.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashinNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.