General manager Jeff Luhnow has a stated goal at the Winter Meetings: help his Houston Astros strengthen the bullpen. While the Astros haven't made any big moves just yet, they continue to be linked to some big-name closers and relievers on the market.
Houston was connected to discussions regarding Cincinnati Reds flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman, though Monday's news regarding Chapman's alleged domestic incident could presumably put in doubt other clubs' interest in acquiring his services.
However, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman listed a few closers that the Astros are said to be 'in' on: Andrew Miller of the New York Yankees, Mark Melancon of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Drew Storen of the Washington Nationals:
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Of that trio, Storen would ostensibly seem to be the most 'available', given the Nats' situation with Jonathan Papelbon, whom they might not be able to move due to his contract status and reputation.
Astros lookin at chapman, miller, melancon first. Storen could be a fallback option for them.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 7, 2015
A few days ago, before the Winter Meetings, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick intimated on Twitter that Storen was on the Astros' radar as a 'fallback' option behind Ken Giles of the Philadelphia Phillies, Jake McGee of the Tampa Bay Rays and Chapman:
In 2015, Storen picked up 29 saves for the Nats, posting a 3.44 ERA and striking out 67 in 55 innings of work. For his career, the 28-year-old owns a 3.44 ERA and is five saves away from 100, and is set to become a free agent after the 2016 season.
#Astros have discussed Drew Storen as possible late-inning option. More a fallback if they don't land Chapman, Giles, McGee in trade.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 5, 2015
Do the Astros have enough to deal for him should a trade materialize? Probably, considering Houston's immense organizational depth. If they're able to land Storen, it'd go a long way toward solidifying the bullpen...which was a strength for the club for most of 2015 with Luke Gregerson manning closing duties. The addition of Storen, though, would allow Gregerson to return to an eighth-inning role, something with which he has more experience throughout his big-league career.