2013 Contract Issues: Washington Nationals

The Nationals are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:

Eligible For Free Agency (6)

  • Edwin Jackson - It would make sense for the Nationals to make Jackson a qualifying offer after the season, assuming his strong year continues. If he accepts, they have a capable starter in his prime on a reasonable one-year deal. If he declines, they obtain draft pick compensation.
  • Chien-Ming Wang - It's hard to imagine more than an incentive-based short-term contract for Wang next winter, even if he pitches well after his minor league rehab assignment ends.
  • Brad Lidge - Lidge last pitched on April 21st and remains on the disabled list as he recovers from hernia surgery.
  • Rick Ankiel - There's an expectation that the Nationals will look for a long-term answer in center field after the season, when Shane Victorino, Michael Bourn and B.J. Upton hit free agency. Even so, the Nationals could have interest in bringing Ankiel back for another season.
  • Chad Tracy - Tracy will probably be looking at minor league offers this coming offseason.
  • Xavier Nady – Until the core of the Nationals' 2013 lineup has been established, it'll be hard to say whether Nady fits on the team's bench.

Contract Options (2)

  • Adam LaRoche: $10MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout. LaRoche seems to have returned to form, so the Nationals could look to retain him in 2013. However, Michael Morse would presumably be bumped to first base if the Nationals sign a center fielder.
  • Sean Burnett: $3.5MM mutual option with a $250K buyout. Burnett doesn't obtain buyout if he declines option. I can see the Nationals picking up their half of this mutual option.

Arbitration Eligible (10)

Desmond, Storen and Detwiler lead a large class of first-time eligible players. Zimmermann, Clippard and Gorzelanny can also look forward to raises this coming offseason, but Lannan will surely be non-tendered if he's still on Washington's roster in December. The Nationals saved themselves millions by delaying Stephen Strasburg's MLB debut in 2010; he will miss the cutoff for super two eligibility by a couple of weeks.

2013 Payroll Obligation

The Nationals, who have a $92MM payroll this year, have committed $52MM to next year's team. That should leave GM Mike Rizzo with approximately $40MM to deal with the team's arbitration eligible players and sign free agents. The Nationals have steadily raised payroll under the ownership of Ted Lerner and it wouldn't be surprising to see payroll climb again in 2013.

14 Responses to 2013 Contract Issues: Washington Nationals Leave a Reply

  1. chico65 3 years ago

    Is it just me, or was this the Diamondbacks post from 5/11 a few minutes ago?

    Time to lay off the peyote, I guess.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       “Time to lay off the peyote”

      U having a Cheech & Chong moment there Chico? Strummin’ a guitar and humming along.. “Meeeee and My ooold Lady” with  Tommy Chong along a desert highway 😉

  2. chico65 3 years ago

    I think that with a rock-solid performance this year, Wang may be able to insert himself in the rotation next year and achieve those incentives even if they may be hard to come by.

    • Your right but I’ve been telling myself the same thing for the last 2 injury filled years.

    • tapehead4 3 years ago

      I have a feeling Wang will get the shaft. I doubt they’ll erect a statue in his honor at Nationals Park.

      • chico65 3 years ago

        Nice rebuttal.  Chances are Wang probably will end up getting the short end, but if his sinker is working he has a chance to bury some balls in the grass at Nationals Park, which I think would make for some happy faces this summer and next.

        • tapehead4 3 years ago

          I’d keep him, Nationals. A Wang in the hand is worth two in the bush.

          • jdouble777 3 years ago


            While funny, I disagree wholeheartedly as three Wangs are not worth much of anything. He will be forgotten this time next year.

  3. I’m not really sold in Morse as a player. He was incredible last year but I’ve seen too many one year wonders. Laroche will be 33 but is still solid with the defense. Only time will tell.

    • if worst got to worst, zimmerman said he would play 1B if Rendon their top 3B prospect is major league ready. supposebly this kid can hit so if he is as good as zimmerman is making him out to be by saying he would move to first if it meant bringing that kid up then they dont really need a 1B. even then they could always figure out a trade like with the cubs for rizzo for maybe jon lannan. in my opinion they should not have let Dunn walk away. imagine that line up with Harper,Zimm, Dunn, Werth (when he is healthy, he had been hitting good this year) even desmond is turning it around from last year.

      • jdouble777 3 years ago

        Rendon is hurt again, already, and cannot be counted on, yet. Not sure why everyone is so against Harper not playing CF, he clearly has the tools (arm and speed). 
        LF- Morse CF- Haper RF- Werth
        3B- Zimm SS- Desmond 2B- Espy 1B-LaRoche C-Ramos

        Makes sense to me and will be more than cheap enough to ensure there is room to add solid bench pieces and maybe make a run at Edwin or Grienke. 

  4. comish4lif 3 years ago

    Regarding a qualifying offer to Jackson and getting a compensation pick. I thought Comp Picks went away under the new CBA?

    • jdouble777 3 years ago

      Good news for middle-tier free agents – Teams will only offer arbitration if they’re prepared to pay a one-year salary that matches or exceeds the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players from the previous season (likely more than $12MM). Middle-tier free agents won’t see offers of arbitration and will hit the market uninhibited as a result.link to mlbtraderumors.com

      More info and depth here:
      link to mlbtraderumors.com

    •  Type A/B went away. If I understand correctly, it’s about whether you offer them a certain amount of money instead. But comp picks are still around.

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