The Blue Jays have told teams that right-handed reliever Drew Storen is available, reports Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Storen, whom the Jays acquired from the Nationals for outfielder Ben Revere in the offseason, is on an $8.38MM salary this year and is then slated to become a free agent. Formerly a capable late-game option with the Nats, Storen has already allowed 13 runs on 22 hits in his first 15 innings with the Jays. To his credit, the 28-year-old has continued his career-long trend of posting quality strikeout and walk rates (9.6 and 2.4 this season, respectively), but PITCHf/x indicates that his velocity is down a couple miles per hour.
Now let’s check in on some other clubs from baseball’s two East divisions:
- If lefty starter Eduardo Rodriguez and right-handed reliever Carson Smith don’t serve as adequate in-season reinforcements, the 26-17 Red Sox are open to acquiring outside talent and increasing their $201MM-plus payroll in the process, writes Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. Team ownership is “as committed as ever” to putting a winner on the field after enduring back-to-back last-place finishes, said club president Sam Kennedy.
- The Phillies’ front office has put Pete Mackanin in a tough position with first baseman Ryan Howard, whom the manager is hesitant to bench, opines Ryan Lawrence of Philly Voice. Howard is hitting a paltry .161/.233/.381 in 133 plate appearances, but he’s a popular figure in the clubhouse and Mackanin doesn’t want to send the wrong message by removing him from the lineup in favor of recent call-up and platoon mate Tommy Joseph. Thus, writes Lawrence, the front office should step in and handle it for Mackanin. Howard, 36, has long been in decline and is likely in his last year with the Phillies, who will buy him out for $10MM at season’s end in lieu of paying him $23MM to remain on the team in 2017. Considering both that and Howard’s weak output, it would make sense for the Phillies to give Joseph the lion’s share of time at first.
- A scout who has followed Matt Harvey since his amateur days offered his assessment of the struggling Mets right-hander to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. “There’s no deception in his delivery. “He is throwing across his body and the hitters are getting a good look at everything,” said the scout, who added that Harvey looks out of shape and is presenting “no fear factor, no intimidation.”