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Storen signs, avoids arbitration

Jan 18, 2013, 2:46 AM EDT

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Drew Storen will make at least $2.5 million this season.

The Nationals and Drew Storen came to terms tonight on a one-year, $2.5 million contract, avoiding what could have been a messy arbitration hearing.

The deal, which was announced by Storen's representatives at CAA, also includes up to $1 million in performance bonuses, all of them related to how many games he finishes this season.

That number figures to be much lower now than it would have been a few days ago, before the Nationals made the surprising move to sign veteran closer Rafael Soriano for a near-record $28 million over two years. With Soriano assured of the primary closer's role, according to general manager Mike Rizzo, Storen will miss out on dozens of opportunities to pitch the ninth inning.

Even with Soriano in the fold, though, Storen should get some opportunities to close, or to finish games that aren't saveRead more »

  1. Timothy Folk - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    I've been waiting to read NI's comments about who deserves what. What ya say guys/gals??

  2. sm13 - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    Good for Drew. He's earned that raise. My guess is Davey will use him to close enough that he'll hit at least one of those incentive levels. I'd like to see Rizzo reach multi.year deals with Jordan and Ian.

  3. Timothy Folk - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    @sm13 I think Z will goto arbitration. Ian just had a second child and a big year def signs throughout his remaining years I predict. Just my guess

  4. EmDash - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    According to the arbitration projection I saw, Drew was expected to get $1.7 million – and that was when he was expected to close this year. That makes this a pretty healthy amount extra, I'd imagine to keep him happier and establish that the team is still committed to him.

  5. baseballswami - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    Got new posted. I am guessing that Jordan is feeling pretty optimistic about now. Pitcher of the month, streak of quality starts, fierce relief appearance, media mentions. Ka- Ching. Desi needs a bigger wallet, too. $$$$$$$$$$$$

  6. SCNatsFan - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    No doubt some of the young talent is going to get paid

  7. sjm308 - Jan 18, 2013 at 4:18 AM

    So…. Storen goes from 500,000 to 2.5 million and that is without the incentives!! Good for him and that has to, hopefullly, keep him positive about his role for this team.

  8. SonnyG10 - Jan 18, 2013 at 4:43 AM

    Congrats Drew, that's a nice pay raise and you don't have to listen to anybody trying to point out your faults.

  9. sjm308 - Jan 18, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    I think we have seen the last of the "Lerners are cheap" comments on this blog.

  10. Scooter - Jan 18, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    Oh, sjm, would that that were so. The family owns a ball club; it's their job to be called cheap!

  11. NCNatsie - Jan 18, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    In Mark's Jan 10 post on the Nats payroll, he had Storen projected at $3M, so this is pretty close when you consider the bonus package. Good projecting, Mark.

  12. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 18, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    I still think it is a lot for a reliever in his first arbitration. he will have 3 more hearings.

  13. MicheleS - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    SJM308… hmmm.. me thinks you need to start working with Kieran on his curveball/change up/slider! I am sure the spit ball is already perfected.Good for Drew!!! That arb hearing could have been ugly. SO, now onto the rest of the guys!

  14. natsfan1a - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Way to go, Drew.

  15. Gonat - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Timothy Folk said… I've been waiting to read NI's comments about who deserves what. What ya say guys/gals?? January 17, 2013 9:56 PM __________________________________In Mark's $100,000,000 payroll post this month he has the estimates for each arbitration eligible player.Mark had Drew at $3 million which seemed very high.I know after the Nats signed RSoriano several thought the Nats would trade Clip or Store. I'm not one of those thinking they would trade either, and giving Storen this type of deal makes Storen less attractive to many teams if a trade was even considered.

  16. JamesFan - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Now is the time to lock up JZim and Desi to long-term deals. These are franchise players who will cost a lot more as time goes by.

  17. LoveDaNats - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    I like Drew. He's had all winter to think and speculate about game 5. I would not be surprised to see him come out more confident and more willing to go after hitters. He will have a good year, despite the presence of Mr. Soriano.

  18. baseballswami - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Pretty tough smart kid. Another Nat with strong character. Not worried.

  19. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Just think what he would have gotten had he closed out the Cards in the ninth?

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Faraz…. not if he signs an extension or agrees to terms prior arbitration.

  21. Joe Seamhead - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    The timing of the Storen deal seems to be making a statement that, even though they signed Soriano, Rizzo is saying, "We still love you,man!" I'm really happy for Drew.I really believe that he has a long, bright ML future ahead of him.I was pleasantly stunned by the Soriano signing. Mike Rizzo has shocked me a couple of times this off season, first with the Span trade, and what we gave up to get him, and then the Soriano deal. Haren wasn't a shock.I see him as a terrific addition for next year, assuming that he's healthy. When Davey said the most important thing to do was to re-sign ALR and then we got Denard Span, we figured the end was near for Michael Morse.Something seemed to happen in the Morse/Davey relationship when Morse pulled the clown act in left center field with Harper that was never quite rectified. The radiance seemed to fade from Morse's smile until the night the Nats clinched the NL East title. He still did his cobra thing and his head slap after hitting a homer, but he really just seemed somehow more serious. I don't remember any more Gatorade showers coming from him after that game with the Harper incident. Also, in all of his classy statements of gratitude to Rizzo, the Lerners, the DC fans, etc. I couldn't find one word about Davey, one way or the other. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I really think there was more that went down between Johnson and Morse then we'll ever be privy to. Oh, well, time to turn the page.This team still has a ton of character,and characters. I see them as still being fun, but somehow even more focused then last year. Things often don't work out for baseball teams like they get drawn up during the off season, but the 2013 Washington Nationals look to me like they are going to be,in a word, dominant.GYFNG!!!

  22. baseballswami - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Now the only thing we need is more bubble wrap.stay healthy!!!!!!

  23. Gonat - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… The timing of the Storen deal seems to be making a statement that, even though they signed Soriano, Rizzo is saying, "We still love you,man!" I'm really happy for Drew.________________________________________Hoping for that same message to Tyler Clippard. Difference is Clip probably knew he wasn't going to be the closer anyway.

  24. John C - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    can someone break this down for me.. I thought we had control of Drew for a couple more years. Is this a brand new contract?

  25. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    John C, he was arbitration eligible for first time. Instead of going to the hearing, Drew and Rizzo agreed on one year contract. That means at the end of next year, they will either go to hearing again or sign another contract (one year or more).

  26. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    NatsJack, I hope he signs a team friendly extension at the end of next season.

  27. John C - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Got it thanks Faraz!

  28. Feel Wood - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Don't confuse having team control of a player with having control of how much that player is paid. The former lasts six years, the latter only lasts two or three years, after which the arbitration process controls the player's salary.

  29. SCNatsFan - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    I know baseball is a team sport played by individuals but if you are Storen and Clippard and you see Soriano sign you should be excited for the team. Again, I know that is pie in the sky type thinking but when you stand back and look it really makes the pen formidable and it would be exciting to be part of it. These guys will be able to develop some swagger and try to top each other every game… and the results could be amazing for this team. To be part of what could be the best all around pitching staff in the majors… as a Nats fan I couldn't ever imagine typing that!

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Joe…. I sensed the same thing and last season even commented that while Davey likes to have a good time, he's no fan of "goofy" characters.I'm sure he had a convo with Michael and things were different after that incident. But in no way do I think that had any affect on the trade.I believe the plan all along was bring back ALR and trade for Span with Michael being the fall back if ALR signed elsewhere.Michael is a great clubhouse guy but Davey loves Tyler Moore and he's a great character guy too.

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    SCNatsFan…….we all have to tip our hat to Rizzo for amassing a roster of terrific athletes that are also class characters. The dedication to doing everything "the right way" is so noticeable in everything baseball wise done by the organization.Andrew Feffer needs to run the public relations and fan interaction side with that same dedication.

  32. alexva - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    @Joe S, spot on re Morse-Davey. GYFNG in '13!

  33. Joe Seamhead - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Jack, Davey was just a few years ahead of Rick Dempsey. I wonder how they would've gotten along as players if they'd both been there in their prime at the same time?

  34. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Joe S, what is this clown act you are referring to? I can't seem to remember. Thanks.

  35. TimDz - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    With all the talk of Drew's psyche, I still recall TWO separate pitches that could have been…or should have been …called strike three…Drew will be fine…

  36. Feel Wood - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Also, in all of his classy statements of gratitude to Rizzo, the Lerners, the DC fans, etc. I couldn't find one word about Davey, one way or the other. Maybe I'm reading too much into itYou are. Morse thanked Rizzo and the Lerners for giving him the opportunity to play every day. By the time Davey took over, he was already playing every day.NatsJack in Florida said… Joe…. I sensed the same thing and last season even commented that while Davey likes to have a good time, he's no fan of "goofy" characters.I'm sure he had a convo with Michael and things were different after that incident. But in no way do I think that had any affect on the trade.You are making way too much out of that "incident." First of all it wasn't all that goofy – especially in comparison with other things Morse and other players have done with no repercussions from Davey – and even if it was goofy, it was over in a flash. It probably would not have even been noticed except for replays (which clearly Davey never saw, he saw it once only if at all) and that Morse came out of the game shortly thereafter, which allowed reporters and fans to postulate a link. Davey's stated reason for pulling Morse was injury, and Morse said he was fine. Okay, how many other times has Davey pulled a player or not started him because of injury or needing a rest or whatever against the will of the player, who says there's no issue? All the time, with all kinds of players. Why does anyone think that in this one case, for that one "incident", Davey is masking the real reason Morse was pulled by saying "injury"? Makes no sense. And as for Davey not having a tolerance for "goofy", that's ridiculous. Davey is goofy himself, and has had all kinds of goofy players play for him over the years. All of a sudden for this one player he can't tolerate "goofy"? Ridiculous.

  37. TimDz - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Faraz ….it had something to do with Morse "pretending" to catch a fly ball that Harper caught …I think Davey may have thought it could have distracted Harper…

  38. TimDz - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    …or the consensus among the fans was that Davey didn't like it…

  39. JD - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I think we are all reading too much into the off field relationship between Davie and Morse. I think Rizzo identified Morse's strength's and weaknesses and concluded that he wanted a better overall solution for the outfield. Rizzo obviously also wasn't completely comfortable with his bull pen and he addressed this with the Soriano signing. The sum of these moves increases the Nats chances to return to the post season; what happens after that is as always subject to luck as much as anything else.

  40. JD - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    BTW, I happen to be a huge Storen fan and feel that the Soriano move wasn't necessary but there is no question that replacing Burnett with Soriano should be a positive.

  41. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    thanks TimDz.

  42. #4 - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    One thought on the Soriano signing,,,I have posted before some stats about starting pitchers and the assertion that for their long term benefit it's best to limit their workloads to less than 200 innings before the age of 25. Most (not all) 300 game winners did not become heavy work horses until after the age of 25.Seeing that Storen had been "demoted" made me wonder whether the same might be true for closers and that it will actually be really good for Storen to have a lower stress set up role for a couple of years if he wants to have a 400 save-type career.If you look at the top ten all-time save leaders, not one of the them starting closing until they were at least 25. Rivera and Hoffman started when they were 27 and 26 respectively. Some notable guys whose closer careers were over or greatly diminshed by 30, who closed before the age of 25 – Francisco Rodriquez, Gregg Olson, and…. Chad Cordero.Not a scientific study, but something to consider.

  43. TimDz - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    #4….Not a bad theory…but I tend to think that closers are a different breed and its a combination of the arm AND the head that needs to be managed…Soriano can hopefully show Storen how to manage the adrenaline and not get overamped while having another true closer can ease the workload on BOTH arms…

  44. JD - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    #4 1st of all I am a huge proponent of ramping up young pitchers slowly and I think there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that 25 is the magic age. I have never thought about this from a reliever stand point because their innings totals are so much lower but I think one must consider the fact that top relievers are out there several days in a row and normally in game situations. I think it was quite clear that Clippard wore down in each of his last few years and I think that his effectiveness will be helped by curtailing his appearances somewhat. The other consideration for the Nats is that Burnett handled many high stress situations last year and he is gone. I think that this is why Rizzo signed Soriano instead of a LOOGY.

  45. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    'I have posted before some stats about starting pitchers and the assertion that for their long term benefit it's best to limit their workloads to less than 200 innings before the age of 25. Most (not all) 300 game winners did not become heavy work horses until after the age of 25.' I am just looking up their stats individually. it seems most 300 game winners were pitching more than 200 innings at least couple of seasons before age 25 season. Current contracts, babying, and all that has pretty much guaranteed that no other pitcher will break the 300 win column.

  46. Section 222 - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Just think what he would have gotten had he closed out the Cards in the ninth?Ouch. Welcome back Sunshine!

  47. Joe Seamhead - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Feel Wood, I'll agree to disagree with you. I do believe that something dimmed Morse's smile the last couple of months of the season. Whatever, just how I saw it. Sorry, I brought it up. The thing about Michael Morse that I liked most, and the thing I'll miss most, is his infectious smile.

  48. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    as far as closers or most relievers are concerned, they start out as starters. Try to stay one as long as possible and then turn to relieving when it does not cut it. I believe great closers will have that in common. thus you see late resurrection of their careers in a different role. btw, I have not checked what I just said. :P

  49. JD - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Faraz, Protecting young pitchers arms so they can have longer, more productive careers should not be considered 'babying'. There are many,many examples of pitchers who were thrown to the wolves at an early age and ended up with short careers. Nothing is absolute but the overwhelming evidence suggests that careful ramp up until the age of 25 is the best way to go. Teams are now aware of all these studies and for the most part they all ramp up their pitchers slowly. The Strasburg shut down made the most noise but there were many shutdowns of young pitchers throughout baseball.

  50. Timothy Folk - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    He's(Storen) gonna have to sign eventually right? Since his price tag is gonna just go up and up after this year?

  51. sm13 - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    #4Good perspective on the merits of bringing along young closers slowly. I dont mind the idea of limiting the stress in Drew's head and arm for 2 years so he's ready to take the job back for good in 2015. Hopefully, he'll have a World Series ring on his finger to make it all worthwhile.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Joe…. I sensed the same thing and last season even commented that while Davey likes to have a good time, he's no fan of "goofy" characters.Definitely that outfield horsing around caused a riff between Davey and Morse. Not sure it lasted more than a few games.I don't see the samarai cobra warm-up as goofy as I believe it was more an influence from Ichiro. Morse's career has been influenced by guys like Ichiro who also does knee bends and other girations warming up where he sticks his bat straight out 180 degrees and swings his arm over. Morse's routine is nothing like Ichiro but I don't think its goofy. Ichiro also gave Morse a bat humidor and I would say is a positive factor for Morse's career.I think Morse didn't get out of line again the rest of the season and all was well. The fact that Morse wasn't Davey's 1st choice is understandable given how they view the future of this team, right or wrong or whether we disagree or not. They did the same thing with Lannan who was Davey's choice in Spring Training last year and not his bosses and the boss made the tough decision there and again this off-season to non-tender Lannan.The good news to me is there is a method to which Davey and Rizzo work to and this team is better today on paper than it was to end the 2012 season.

  53. sjm308 - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    The other point I would make about the addition of Soriano is that hopefully, Clippard and Storen will not be called on to even warmup as many times during a season. It is not looked on as much but there is a negative to even getting a pitcher up and getting him ready, even if he doesn't enter the game. It seems to me we now have exact roles that will be set. I understand there is still a chance of injury but I am hoping Davey keeps the number of appearances for Clip down this season and that he will benefit from that.

  54. MicheleS - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    New Post!!!

  55. sjm308 - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    I also like the immediate signing of Storen for the obvious reason that arbitration is avoided. From what I understand, while both sides profess love for each other, in arbitration the FO has to show why they do not want to meet the players demands and it has/can get messy. No need to bring up what happened last year in an arbitration hearing since he is now signed. He certainly will be asked about it in spring training, and it will be brought up the first time he blows a game but like others here, I feel he is young, intelligent and seems tough enough to handle that.

  56. Feel Wood - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… Feel Wood, I'll agree to disagree with you. I do believe that something dimmed Morse's smile the last couple of months of the season. Whatever, just how I saw it.He was hurting, even though he was off the DL. Nagging stuff like the hamstring. He wasn't performing at the same high level he was in 2011. No need to expand from that and have him worried because he thought he was in Davey's doghouse. If he was in Davey's doghouse, his name wouldn't have been in the lineup every single day in September and through the playoffs, except for the four in a row he was out because of the hammy. If he had any worries at all vis a vis Davey, it was probably because he felt he was letting him down, not that he was in the doghouse.

  57. NatsLady - Jan 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Wait, wait, a reasonable post from FW. I agree, and I think we (fans) make WAY WAY too much of these supposed rifts between players and manager. We are not the Red Sox, let's not go down that road. Davey was putting up the line-up he thought would win and Morse was on it.

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