REPORT: Talks between Nationals, Cubs are ‘dead’


Aug 22, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher

Drew Storen

(22) is congratulated by catcher

Kurt Suzuki

(24) for a victory against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Nationals beat the Cubs 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The rumored talks between the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals concerning a pair of relievers – Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard – are now “dead,” according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

We passed along a report recently detailing Chicago’s reported interest in the Washington relievers, but GM Mike Rizzo said the reports concerning the two arms were “overblown.”

Storen, 26, is an Indiana native who struggled last year, going 4-2 with a 4.52 earned run average in 68 appearances for Washington. In 2011, however, he notched 43 saves for Washington, which led many to believe he could be the team’s closer of the future – a role he would likely fill in Chicago.

The right-hander was nine runs worse than league average last year after posting a positive RAA in each of his first three seasons, coming in at 0, 7 and 5, respectively. He made $2.5 million in 2013, but after a down year, his arbitration hearing likely will net him somewhere in the range of $3 and $3.5 million next season, despite his struggles last year.

Clippard, on the other hand, showed his upside in 2013,  evidenced by some eye-popping numbers Kilgore offers in one of his latest pieces from the Post.

"Over the past four seasons, Clippard leads all relievers with 323 innings and has punched up a 2.73 ERA. In 2012, after Storen underwent surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow, Clippard converted 32 saves."

Kilgore goes on to say that Clippard’s salary in 2014 will likely breach the $6 million mark, making him the less likely of the two to be dealt – especially to Chicago, where the front office remains conscious of adding high amounts of payroll during a massive rebuilding process.

In exchange for one of the relievers, it is believed that Washington would seek a left-handed reliever, among the likes of James Russell, who has been one of the most consistent relievers in the Cubs’ bullpen in recent years.