The Seattle Mariners, knowing that they are on the precipice of a potential playoff run, and having to figure out if they will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, got the whole courtship going early by trading Joqauin Benoit to the Toronto Blue Jays for Drew Storen on Tuesday evening.
#Mariners have acquired RHP Drew Storen and cash considerations from Toronto in exchange for RHP Joaquin Benoit.— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) July 27, 2016
There can honestly not be any less read into this trade. Benoit is a once-great, now-not-great, RHP reliever making $8 million this year. Storen is a once-great, now-not-great, RHP reliever making $8.375 million this year. Storen was just recently DFA’d by the Blue Jays, so this is pretty much a straight up change of scenery trade for both parties involved.
Storen used to be an effective closer for the Washington Nationals. He has lost a couple of ticks off of his fastball this season, and opposing pitchers have punished him for it, knocking six home runs this season. The final straw for the Blue Jays was a deep Nelson Cruz three-run home run on July 23.
Benoit started off the season in a nice fashion, but it pretty rapidly fell apart. Judging from what Jerry Dipoto said in the press release, this trade isn’t so much a no-brainer as it is a meh why the hell not.
Quote from Dipoto in the press release on the trade: pic.twitter.com/ywv0yNkYOr— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) July 27, 2016
If moving to the Pacific Northwest gets Storen to somewhat resemble the pitcher he used to be, this trade is perfectly fine. If Storen turns out to be completely useless, it won’t be too big of a deal considering Benoit’s role in the bullpen. Actually, worst case scenario is Benoit is converted to a starter and wins the Cy Young next year. But somehow I don’t think that will be happening.