Nats avoid arbitration, agree to terms with Ross Detwiler (updated)

The Nationals have agreed to terms with left-hander Ross Detwiler on a contract for the 2014 season, avoiding salary arbitration.

Per the New York Post, Detwiler will make $3 million this season, with a $50,000 bonus if he reaches 180 innings.

Update: A source familiar with the contract confirms that Detilwer will make $3 million this season, a raise over the $2.34 million he made in 2013.

Detwiler has gone 18-29 with a 3.79 ERA over 85 big league appearances (69 starts). He was a solid presence in the Nats rotation in 2012, when he went 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 164 1/3 innings, and he got off to a strong start to the 2013 campaign, posting a 2.76 ERA through his first eight starts.

But Detwiler’s back started acting up, leading to a month-long stint on the disabled list from mid-May to mid-June. He returned and made five more starts at the big league level, but the back continued to be a problem, and he landed back on the DL on July 4, and failed to pitch for the Nats the remainder of the season.

Detwiler made a couple of successful instructional league appearances last fall, and both he and the Nationals believe the left-hander will be healthy in 2014.

Detwiler is set to compete for the final spot in the Nats rotation this spring, along with Tanner Roark, Taylor Jordan, Ross Ohlendorf and Nathan Karns.

The Nats now have seven arbitration-eligible players remaining without a contract for 2014: Jerry Blevins, Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Doug Fister, Wilson Ramos, Drew Storen and Jordan Zimmermann.

The players and teams have until tomorrow at 1 p.m. to negotiate a salary for this year, otherwise they will formally submit the salary figures that will be put in front of an arbiter, who will independently make a ruling on the player’s salary if the two sides cannot reach a deal. Those hearings would come in February.

Contracts can still be negotiated up until the arbitration hearing, however.

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