The Nationals and Craig Stammen avoided arbitration with a two-year contract worth $2.25 million, essentially buying out the first two of the right-hander’s arbitration years, according to a person close to the deal.
Stammen became eligible for arbitration for the first time because of the Super Two exception in which a player gets an extra year of arbitration because of their service time. The 28-year-old right-hander was a workhorse for the Nationals last season, posting a 2.34 ERA in 88 1/3 innings. He made $485,000 last season.
Stammen, a former starter, was the Nationals long reliever but is versatile and was also a general fill-in man, pitching the sixth, seventh or eighth inning or notching a save. Stammen will likely be counted on again to fill the same role next season — but that remains to be seen given the logjam of relievers for seven spots. The Nationals control Stammen’s rights through 2016.
Stammen’s deal came on the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange figures. The Nationals have reach deals with four of their players and only three arbitration-eligible players remain: Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Clippard and Ian Desmond.