Padres, Will Venable avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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Will Venable and the Padres have agreed to a one-year contract to avoid arbitration, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune.

Venable gets a raise from $1.475 million to $2.675 million in his second season of arbitration eligibility after the 30-year-old outfielder hit .264 with nine homers, 24 steals, and a .765 OPS in 148 games to more or less equal his career norms.

As is the case with many Padres hitters Venable’s numbers away from Petco Park were significantly better and his raw totals could jump this year with the fences moving in. He’s expected to start in right field this season and will be arbitration eligible again in 2014 before hitting the open market as a free agent.

The Red Sox are calling up Rafael Devers

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Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.

Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.

There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.

Stephen Strasburg exited Sunday’s start with an apparent injury

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It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.

Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.

The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.