Only minutes after the Mariners defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-4 at PNC Park Tuesday night, the club announced that it had acquired RHP Drew Storen and cash considerations from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for RHP Joaquin Benoit. Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto immediately went on defense after trading a pitcher (Benoit) with a 5.18 ERA for one (Storen) with a 6.21 ERA.
“Obviously, this has not been Drew’s best season, but he is closely linked to a run of great success pitching in the back end of very good bullpens,” Dipoto said in a club statement. “Hopefully this serves as a change of scenery and over the next two months we can get him back on track.”
Storen, 28, was 1-3 with three saves and 32 strikeouts in 38 relief appearances with Toronto this season. He was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays Sunday. In his last 21 appearances, he posted a 4.66 ERA with 17 strikeouts. Toronto acquired him from Washington Jan. 8 in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere.
In his first six MLB seasons, all with the Nationals, Storen posted a 21-13 mark with 95 saves, a 3.02 ERA and 321 strikeouts in 355 games. In seven seasons in the majors, he is 22-16 with a 3.31 ERA with 353 strikeouts in 393 games. Storen was selected by Washington in the first round of the 2009 draft out of Stanford.
Benoit, 39, was 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 15 walks in 26 relief appearances this season. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 25 with right shoulder inflammation and was activated May 17.
In 15 MLB seasons, Benoit is 55-43 with a 3.87 ERA in 687 career games, including 55 starts. He was acquired by Seattle from San Diego in exchange for RHP Enyel De Los Santos and INF Nelson Ward Nov. 12.
His inconsistency after his return from injury caused the Mariners to bring up rookie Edwin Diaz, who has taken over Benoit’s set-up job.