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Rizzo: Soriano will close

Jan 18, 2013, 12:30 AM EDT

Though he went out of his way to use the words “Drew Storen” and “closer” together multiple times, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo left no doubt who will be handed the ball for the ninth inning come Opening Day: The guy he just gave $28 million.

“Suffice it to say, Raffy is here to pitch the ninth inning,” Rizzo said while introducing Rafael Soriano Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park. “He has done it successfully everywhere he has been, and we expect him to continue that.”

At the same time, Rizzo seemed to make it clear he intends to keep both Storen and Tyler Clippard and give manager Davey Johnson as many quality relievers as possible to pitch the late innings of close games. Storen, who dominated down the stretch last season until his blown save in Game 5 of the NLDS, will likely serve as Johnson’s “B” closer.

“Drew Storen is a closer,” Rizzo said. “He’s going to be a closer. He’s got closer stuff. He’s got a closer mentality. By no means the signing of Rafael Soriano was based on one inning and one game at the end of the season.”
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  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    "Drew Storen is a closer," Rizzo said. "John is my No. 5 starter." — Davey Johnson."I am not a crook." — Richard M. Nixon.

  2. peric - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    He did say he liked to teach and mentioned mentoring young pitchers in Atlanta and Tampa Bay but I don't think he said NY as the interpreter stated.

  3. peric - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    "Iraq has WMD" – George W Bush"Read my lips no new taxes" – George HW Bush …so?

  4. MicheleS - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Where does Rizzo get his sweaters?

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    I clearly heard him say "Nuevo York" before "Tampa".

  6. natsfan1a - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Oh, can I play, too? I did not have sex with…er, nevermind. :-)Thanks for the update, Mark. I've not yet watched the presser, which I did record, but interesting to read this item.

  7. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    MicheleS said… Where does Rizzo get his sweaters?Usually, I'm with you on these sort of things. I loved the dark lavender V-neck he wears. But this grey-and-black striped number? Meh. Looks like he's on a 10-day call-up from old Lorton. This one does nothing for me. I'd guess, Target, $14.99, marked down from after-Christmas. I'll pass.

  8. natsfan1a - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    In other news, there's this from Wagner at the Post (in a piece on the return of Bob and FP):"On-field reporter Kristina Akra's contract is also up and, according to a person familiar with the situation, she is expected to return."

  9. Feel Wood - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    Any truth to the rumor that Rizzo sent Storen a text saying "Your ninth inning has now been cancelled"?

  10. Feel Wood - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    MicheleS said… Where does Rizzo get his sweaters?I'm guessing Goodwill.

  11. NatsNut - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    "I never used performance enhancing drugs." – Lance Armstrongc;\'mon ya'll that was too easy.

  12. SonnyG10 - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Dang, I missed the presser. Glad you folks are talking about it.

  13. SonnyG10 - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    I just selected my four free tickets to a Nats ST game. I selected the March 11th game with the Braves. Now, if only I'll get to make the trip.

  14. baseballswami - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Apparently Drew has settled prior to arb. And I am certain that Davey Johnson has said " Drew is my guy" – the kiss of death.

  15. sm13 - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" –Bill Clinton

  16. NatsLady - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    The Nationals have avoided arbitration with Drew Storen by reaching agreement on a one-year, $2.5MM contract, according to his representatives at CAA Sports (on Twitter). The contract also includes $1MM in performance bonuses.Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/01/nationals-avoid-arbitration-with-drew-storen.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#twWfYZa9m3FkGLuf.99

  17. baseballswami - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    At least his mistress was real.

  18. Feel Wood - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    Storen shouldn't be upset that he's not the closer any more. Now he can be the guy that Davey has warming up as soon as Soriano comes into the game, ready to replace Soriano the very second he starts getting in trouble. The closer-replacement. Right, Section222?

  19. Feel Wood - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    The contract also includes $1MM in performance bonuses.If those performance bonuses are based on games finished, Soriano had better keep his eye out for any Jeff Gillooly types roaming around in Viera.

  20. NatsLady - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Amanda Comak ‏@acomakA potential $3.5 million haul in his 1st year of arbitration as a Super 2 player is a nice sum for Drew Storen.

  21. Feel Wood - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    At least his mistress was real.So not only are Storen and Clippard married to each other, one of them has a mistress too? Which one?

  22. Tcostant - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    The truth hurts, but Storen's meltdown is what caused this move. Rizzo is right, no doubt who gets the ball on the ninth.

  23. Gonat - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121119&content_id=40356488&vkey=pr_mlb_network&c_id=mlb_networkWhere's Kilgore? Heidi Watney is on the MLB Network now.

  24. baseballswami - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    I was referring to Bill Clinton via sm13….but-hahaha.

  25. baseballswami - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    So on Drew's contract there are incentives for games finished. Does that mean official saves or just the pitcher of record when the last out is recorded? So if you get two outs in the ninth and someone else gets the third it's not a game finished and they don't have to pay him? Sounds a bit hazy to me.

  26. natsfan1a - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    If it's on the interwebz, it must be real, right? ;-)baseballswami said… At least his mistress was real. January 17, 2013 8:49 PM

  27. Steamer - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Yep

  28. Steamer - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    The last out recorded

  29. NatsLady - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Not clear the incentives are games-finished. Could be innings pitched, or some other stat.

  30. Steamer - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    I believe it's games finished

  31. Steamer - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    That's how they get ya

  32. Steamer - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Yea it's games finished that will be tough to do to bad it's not appearances

  33. baseballswami - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Sounds tricky- like maybe a Stanford guy should be a little more skeptical. Now if he had gone to another school, like maybe Notee Dame?

  34. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    I still don't get how someone can be fooled that their GF died.

  35. Steamer - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Swami it is

  36. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Just saw that Storen will be making at least $2.5 and as much as $3.5 million in his first arbitration season. Isn't that a bit high?

  37. Steamer - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Not considering he was a closer

  38. baseballswami - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    So Jordan is feeling pretty optimistic about now I think. That whole pitcher of the month thing, and then the fierce relief appearance. Ka-Ching. Oh, and Desi , too. $$$$$$

  39. Doc - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    The NL East runs through Philadelphia—J. Rollins

  40. SonnyG10 - Jan 18, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    Doc said…The NL East runs through Philadelphia—J. RollinsJanuary 17, 2013 10:57 PMWithout even slowing down, too! :)

  41. The Fox - Jan 18, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    "Veni, vidi, vici"—Julius CaesarThis will work for the Nat's too!

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