Drew Storen avoids arbitration with Nationals, gets one-year, $2.5 million deal

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The Nationals and right-hander Drew Storen have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. Storen’s agent, CAA Baseball, made the announcement on Twitter and added that the deal includes $1 million in performance bonuses.

This is a pretty nice chunk of change for Storen, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter as a Super Two player. The 25-year-old remains under team control through 2016.

Storen was solid after returning from elbow surgery last season, including a 2.37 ERA and 24/8 K/BB ratio over 30 1/3 innings during the regular season, but he experienced a meltdown during Game 5 of the NLDS against the Cardinals. The Nationals signed Rafael Soriano to a two-year, $28 million contract this week and plan to use him as their closer, so Storen will pitch in a set-up role in 2013. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo insisted today that the decision to add Soriano had nothing to do with the NLDS and that he still feels Storen is a closer.

Padres ride double-decker tour bus to AT&T Park

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On Sunday morning, the Padres planned to take a bus from their hotel in San Francisco to AT&T Park ahead of their afternoon game. The bus never showed. MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell reports that team director of player and staff services TJ Lasita flagged down an empty San Francisco tour bus, negotiated a rate, and got his players an impromptu ride to the ballpark.

The Padres’ Twitter account and Annie Heilbrunn of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweeted pictures and video:

The Padres and Giants are playing the rubber match of their three-game series this afternoon. The Padres will then travel to Arlington for a series with the Rangers. The Giants will welcome the Rockies.