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Arbitration Eligibles: Washington Nationals

The Nationals are next in our arbitration eligibles series.

Slaten battled a sore elbow this year, tossing only 16 1/3 innings in the Majors.  At $900K he'd be cheap to retain, but he is a candidate to be non-tendered.  Flores' shoulder injury knocked him down the Nationals' catching depth chart, and they could look to trade him before the December 12th non-tender deadline.  We project a salary of around $800K, so some team will likely take a chance if the Nationals don't.  Gorzelanny cleared waivers in August, indicating no team found him a good value at a $2.1MM salary this year.  Next year it'd be around $2.8MM through arbitration.  His strikeout and walk rates in 15 starts this year were solid, though his suitors may wait out the Nats to see if they tender him a contract.

Lannan ($4.8MM), Morse ($3.7MM), Zimmermann ($1.8MM), and Clippard ($1.7MM) all project to be relatively affordable and part of the 2012 Nationals.  The four players project to earn a total of $12MM next year.

Including that $12MM, the Nationals have about $57MM in 2012 commitments before accounting for minimum salary players.  Holding payroll steady at this year's $68MM wouldn't leave much flexibility, but the Nats are capable of going beyond that number in their offseason quest to add a starting pitcher and an outfielder

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