The Washington Nationals have avoided salary arbitration with two pitchers. Reliever Drew Storen signed a $2.5 million deal yesterday to avoid arbitration. Storen shared closing duties last season with arbitration eligible Tyler Clippard, after returning from elbow surgery.
Storen will not be handling the closer role for the Nats in 2013. A few days ago, the Nats inked premier reliever Rafael Soriano to a two year, $28 million deal. Nats GM Mike Rizzo made clear in Soriano's introductory press conference that Soriano was signed to handle ninth inning duties. The Storen deal includes incentives based on games pitched and would allow him to be paid money of a typical closer. Storen's earliest possible free agency season will come in 2017.
After missing three months last season, Storen returned to the Nationals bullpen and posted a 3-1 record with 4 saves. In 30.1 innings, he posted a 2.37 ERA. Storen was part of the fifth game bullpen implosion against the St. Louis Cardinals that ended Washington's playoffs last season.
Ross Detwiler won the confidence of manager Davey Johnson after a successful pre-season. Detwiler locked down the fifth starter role for the Nats last season and put up impressive numbers. Detwiler appeared in 31 games, of which, 27 were starts. He posted a solid record of 10-8 with a healthy 3.40 ERA. He threw 164.1 innings and recorded 105 strike outs. Oppsoing batter only batted .241 against Detwiler. Detwiler's earliest free agency year is 2016.
The Nats now have five players left that are salary arbitration eligible. They are OF Roger Bernadina, P Tyler Clippard, P Jordan Zimmermann, and SS Ian Desmond.
UPDATE: Reliever Craig Stammen has avoided slary arbitration as well. Stammen and the Nats agreed to terms on a two year deal on Friday. The deal will allow the Nats and Stammen to avoid arbitration to 2015. Stammen was one of the most effective relievers for the Nats in 2012. He appeared in 59 games out of the Nats bullpen and posted a 6-1 record with 1 save. In 88.1 innings, Stammen fanned 87 batters and recorded an impressive 2.34 ERA.