Jul 19, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) throws during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

RUMORS: Chicago Cubs interested in Nationals' relievers Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard

The Chicago Cubs are interested in two Washington Nationals relief pitchers, Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, according to Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer.

Wittenmyer also notes, neither Storen nor Clippard are free agents and would have to be acquired by trade. Both have experience as a closer and were not in that role for the Nats in 2013. Adam Kilgore of the Washington post identifies Cubs’ outfielder Nate Schierholtz and left-handed reliever James Russell as a couple of fits for the Nats.

Storen, 26, was the Nats closer in 2011 and pitched 75 1/2 innings over 73 games, finishing with a 6-3 record with 43 saves and a 2.75 ERA. During the off season, he had elbow surgery and shared the closer role with Clippard. In 2013, he posted a 4.52 ERA with a 1.362 WHIP. The Nats’ No. 1 pick (10th overall) in 2009 is under team control through the 2016 season.

Clippard, 28, has a 2.77 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 over the past six seasons with the Nats. In 2012, he recorded 32 saves and posted a 3.72 ERA with a 1.156 WHIP, 10.4 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 as the Nats’ closer. This past season he posted a 2.59 ERA with an astounding 0.859 WHIP.

Both right-handed relievers pitched in the 2012 National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Storen earned the save in Game 1, win in Game 4, and surrendered a two-run single to Pete Kozma that lost the series for the Nats. Clippard pitched one inning in Games 1, 4, 5 and struck out five, walked one, and gave up one home run.

The two relievers are also roommates during the season.

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Tags: Chicago Cubs Drew Storen Free Agency MLB Trade Rumors Tyler Clippard

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