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)
- If you're wondering what type of starters will should be available in trade this summer, Jason Marquis is a good example. Trading him around the deadline would save the Nationals $2.5MM, but if they're still in the .500 range they might prefer to keep him.
- Ivan Rodriguez hopes to remain with the Nationals beyond 2011, but they have the catching depth to trade him during the season or let him go as a free agent.
- The Nationals will also have a cast of role players and backend starters up for free agency: Jerry Hairston Jr., Rick Ankiel, Todd Coffey, Livan Hernandez, Chien-Ming Wang, Alex Cora, Chad Gaudin, Matt Stairs, and Laynce Nix.
Contract Options (0)
Arbitration Eligible (7)
- First time: Tyler Clippard, Jordan Zimmermann
- Second time: John Lannan, Mike Morse, Doug Slaten
- Third time: Tom Gorzelanny, Jesus Flores
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.