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2012 Contract Issues: Washington Nationals

The Nationals are next in our 2012 Contract Issues series.  Here's what the team faces after the 2011 season:

Eligible For Free Agency (11)

Contract Options (0)

Arbitration Eligible (7)

A few others, such as Craig Stammen and Roger Bernadina, could reach the requisite amount of service time if they're called up.  Zimmermann's shortened 2010 and '11 seasons will limit his career numbers and his arbitration payday, but he could still reach $2MM.  Lannan and Gorzelanny could be in the $4MM range.  Overall I could see the team's arbitration eligibles getting about $16MM total, but that's just a rough April estimate.

2012 Payroll Obligation

The Nationals' 2012 payroll obligation, according to Cot's, is $44.596MM.  My arbitration estimate puts them around $61MM, $7MM short of this year's payroll.  Still, I expect the team to have the flexibility to add starting pitching, relief help, and outfielders as needed during the 2011-12 offseason.

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