Storen designated for assignment by Toronto

Acquired in offseason deal with Nats, reliever struggled with Blue Jays

Storen designated for assignment by Toronto

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays designated right-handed reliever Drew Storen for assignment Sunday, recalling righty Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo. The Blue Jays have 10 days to trade or release Storen before he becomes a free agent.

Acquired from the Nationals in the offseason for outfielder Ben Revere, Storen was expected to be an integral piece of Toronto's bullpen. The Stanford product struggled, however, and gradually saw his role decrease.

"I loved that trade when it was made," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It allowed us to put [Aaron] Sanchez in the rotation and you know we`re getting a proven veteran reliever who has had a lot of success. You read his bubble gum card and it`s pretty good. There`s not a lot of guys that can match that.

"It was just one of those years where it never really clicked, but he was very professional and showed up every day. It probably would have helped if I pitched him more consistently, but that`s not always the way it works, so we wish him well."

Storen, who has 98 career saves, came to Spring Training looking to compete with Roberto Osuna for the role of closer, but ended up starting the season in a setup role. Storen allowed nine runs in eight innings during the opening month, and although the veteran righty appeared to turn a corner in May, he was unable to replicate those numbers in the following months.

Storen made only five appearances in July, the last of which came on Saturday, when he allowed three runs in one inning. For the season, the 28-year-old made 38 appearances and compiled a 6.21 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP. Opponents hit .309 with a .913 OPS against the seven-year Major Leaguer.

Despite the reduced rule, Gibbons made sure to mention that Storen never complained or caused any distractions.

"He had been struggling a little bit, but in all fairness to Drew, I didn't pitch him much on a regular basis, and I do control that," Gibbons said. "But he was very professional about it, and this will give him a new start somewhere. We also needed, in the role he was filling, a guy who could throw more than one inning and things like that."

With the trio of Brett Cecil, Jason Grilli and Osuna likely to receive a bulk of the late-inning work, Tepera has the chance to give the Blue Jays some length in the middle innings. The 28-year-old has a 5.79 ERA in five appearances for Toronto this season and a 2.95 mark in 29 Triple-A appearances, serving as the closer for the Bisons.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.