Padres, Will Venable agree to 2-year, $8.5 million contract

USA TODAY Sports

San Diego has bought out the surging outfielder's final two years of arbitration.

The San Diego Padres and right fielder Will Venable have come to an agreement on a two-year, $8.5-million contract extension, reports Corey Brock of MLB.com.

The extension will pay him $4.25 million in both 2014 and 2015. The deal buys out Venable's final two years of arbitration -- he's a Super-Two player -- and gives him a not inconsiderable raise over the $2.68 million he's making this season.

Venable, 30, is now in his fourth season as the Friars' full-time right fielder. The lefty outfielder plugged away with average numbers for the position at the plate in his first several seasons -- .253/.324/.415, with half of his games in the pitcher's park in the game-- but has taken things to another level this year.

After struggling through the first half, Venable has been on an absolute tear. He is batting .351/.390/.630 with nine home runs and 10 doubles since the All-Star break, causing him to fly past his previous career-best mark for home runs (13) in a season. Venable is hitting .273/.315/.503 with 20 home runs in 427 plate appearances overall, putting him on track to set career-bests in several offensive categories.

It is the first time he's posted a slugging percentage over .450, let alone .500, and he may have Petco Park to thank. Coming into this season, the left-handed Venable had slugged barely over .400 in the majors' most anti-southpaw park; with the new moved-in fences, he boasts a .559 mark.

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