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


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

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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