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.