The Washington Nationals avoided arbitration with right-hander Drew Storen Thursday night, agreeing to terms on a $2.5 million salary with $1 million in performance bonuses based on games finished for the 2013 season. His agency, CAA Baseball, announced the agreement on twitter.
Storen, who missed the first half of the 2012 season after having a bone chip removed from his right elbow in April, looked dominant down the stretch for the Nationals as he continued to round into form after the injury.
After watching Tyler Clippard man the closer role for most of the season, Storen appeared to seize it back as the Nationals were heading into the playoffs.
In 17 September appearances, Storen allowed just two earned runs (a 1.17 ERA) and struck out 14 batters in 15⅓ innings.
The lasting image of the 25-year-old from 2012, however, will be of him on the mound in Game 5 of the National League Division Series trying to get the one elusive final strike that wouldn’t come until it was too late.
It is unclear how many opportunities Storen will have to close games in 2013 with the Nationals recent signing of Rafael Soriano. The team introduced Soriano to the media on Thursday evening and made it clear that they expect the former Yankees closer, who signed a two-year, $28 million contract, to be their primary closer in the coming season.
This was Storen’s first year of arbitration. As he is a Super 2 player, he will have three more years of arbitration while he’s under the Nationals’ control on his rookie contract.