The Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners have hooked up for a straight one-for-one swap of relief pitchers.
Right-hander Drew Storen is headed to Seattle while Toronto gets right-hander Joaquin Benoit in the deal that was first announced by the Mariners.
#Mariners have acquired RHP Drew Storen and cash considerations from Toronto in exchange for RHP Joaquin Benoit.
— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) July 27, 2016
Storen, 28, was acquired by Toronto in an offseason deal with Washington that sent outfielder Ben Revere to the nations capital. He was designated for assignment by the organisation over the weekend after posting a 6.21 ERA in 33.1 innings. He has 8.6 strikeouts per nine and 2.7 walks per nine ratio over that span of 33 appearances.
Meanwhile, Benoit has also struggled this season after joining Seattle from San Diego at the start of the year. He has a 5.18 ERA in 24.1 innings while tallying 28 strikeouts and 15 walks.
Both relievers had been slated for late inning duties at the start of the season, but their struggles have ensured that neither would hold onto their jobs for very long. Both teams are in need of bullpen help and would be hoping that a change of scenery can boost the output of one or both of these guys.
The Mariners currently have the fifth-best bullpen ERA in the American League at 3.47 though Toronto has the sixth-worst at nearly 4.00. Seattle already traded leftie Mike Montgomery earlier this month in a deal with the Cubs so they are looking for someone who can be a reliable setup man for Steve Cishek.
The Blue Jays have Roberto Osuna as their closer and have been impressed with 39-year-old Jason Grilli, who they got from Atlanta. Benoit would likely handle the seventh or eighth inning with the Jays.
Both Benoit and Storen will become free agents at seasons end are each being paid about $8 million this season. Essentially it’s a trade of two struggling veteran relievers who have enjoyed plenty of success in their long careers.
Seattle is currently three games above .500 while sitting 6.5 back in the AL West and 4.5 behind in the wild card race. Toronto holds one of those two American League wild cards but trail Baltimore by two games in the East.