Earlier on Sunday, news broke suggesting the Washington Nationals had interest in closer Grant Balfour. It was a bit odd considering Balfour wants to close and the Nationals have a handful of players who have closing experience at the Major League level.
Now we have a better understanding as to why the Nationals are showing interest in Balfour.
It’s because they want to trade reliever Drew Storen.
Per Ken Rosenthal:
The Nats almost certainly do not want Soriano to pitch enough games to vest his $14 million option for 2015. They likely prefer Clippard as a setup man and, according to sources, would like to trade Storen, who will earn $3.45 million this season.
Storen, who had 43 saves in 2011 has pitched mainly as a setup arm in recent years though figures to play a role in a potential closing spot this season (assuming he isn’t traded). Possibly uncomfortable with such, moving Storen would allow the Nationals to save nearly $4 million dollars – money they could spend on signing Balfour.