As the effects of Tuesday’s acquisition of Jonathan Papelbon still hover over the Nationals, Drew Storen and his agent, Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports, met with General Manager Mike Rizzo on Thursday night in New York.
“Drew and I met with Mike Rizzo [Thursday night] as we continue to have ongoing communication regarding his role and his future with the organization,” Van Wagenen said. “We have a long history of candid and transparent discussions with this organization, and this situation is no different. I am not going to comment on the specifics of this dialogue.”
Storen was in the midst of an excellent season — 29 saves in 31 chances and a 1.73 ERA — when the Nationals traded for Papelbon, a veteran closer who also was enjoying a strong campaign. The National handed Papelbon the closer’s role, extended him for $11 million for 2016, and moved Storen into primary set-up duties. This is the second time Storen has been moved out of the closer’s role in favor of outside relievers.
This move was met with surprise inside the Nationals clubhouse. The team was interested in upgrading the bullpen but didn’t necessarily need a closer.
Rizzo declined to comment on the meeting.