SAN DIEGO — Versailles alumnus Craig Stammen is returning to the San Diego Padres on a two-year contract, according to multiple reports.
Stammen will sign a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Padres, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Dennis Lin of The San Diego Union-Tribune and Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.
The 33-year-old Stammen joined the Padres in 2017 and pitched 80 1/3 innings in 60 games out of the San Diego bullpen. The right-hander had a 2-3 record and 3.14 ERA, allowing 68 hits and 28 walks while striking out 74.
For his career Stammen has a 3.80 ERA and a 1.294 WHIP, a statistic that measures walks and hits allowed per innings.
Stammen began his career with the Washington Nationals, who drafted him out of the University of Dayton in 2005. In seven seasons with the Nationals from 2009 to 2015, Stammen compiled a 26-24 record and 3.91 ERA.
The Versailles alumnus transitioned to the bullpen in 2010 and found his niche, pitching a league-leading 242 2/3 innings out of the Washington bullpen from 2012-14 with a 2.93 ERA with 222 strikeouts.
Stammen suffered a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm during the 2015 season, which ended his season. He spent the 2016 season in the Cleveland Indians’ minor league system working his way back from the injury.
Last winter he signed a minor league contract with the Padres then earned a major league roster spot in spring training. Now he had stability provided by a guaranteed two-year contract.
During the Padres’ trip to Cincinnati in August, Stammen was optimistic that his success with the Padres would pay off with a major league contract.
“It will be a little easier offseason trying to convince teams to sign me,” he said. “You know where in year’s past I’m trying to convince them that I’m healthy and that I’m capable of handling a full season and pitching in the big leagues. That was the goal of this season is kind of reestablish myself as a major league player and then we’ll see where next year takes me if it’s with the Padres or somebody else.”
Along with the Padres, Stammen drew interest from the Cincinnati Reds this offseason, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
“We have looked into it. We talked to him a little bit,” Cincinnati General Manager Dick Williams said, according to an article on MLB.com.
For fans looking to watch Stammen pitch in person, the Padres are scheduled to visit Cincinnati for a four-game series from Sept. 6-9.