The Nationals are next in our arbitration eligibles series.
- First time: Tyler Clippard, Jordan Zimmermann
- Second time: John Lannan, Michael Morse, Doug Slaten
- Third time: Tom Gorzelanny, Jesus Flores
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.
Question on Slaten: Cots has him going in for his 3rd year of arbitration, not 2nd. Is it related to his service time accrued this year not pushing him over a threshold of playing time?
Slaten sucks and will not be tendered a contract. Every time he came into the game this year I cried a little. Seriously, without him on the squad the Nats would have been a .500 team in 2011.
So, I don’t know the answer to your question, but in some regards it is a moot point.
Yeah. Not the question I asked. No argument he was awful and clearly doesn’t deserve a tender. It was more curiosity as to how the arbitration eligibility question was solved. Slaten’s a weird case in that he’s been DFA’d prior to being a full free agent, so you can sign him on a minor league deal but still have the arbitration question there. I’m just wondering why Cots says one thing and mlb trade rumors another?
Decent thoughts here. Don’t forget to add in the Chien-Ming Wang contract as they’re already working on an extension. I would say Slaten is the only non-tender out of the group. I could see Lannan as part of a trade deal either to upgrade the pitching or get a true CF.
I would be fine with an OF like Coco Crisp or David DeJesus to take the leadoff spot in the lineup and a lefty SP like Buerhle to slot between Zimmermann and Strasburg for the Nats offseason. That gives you time to let Harper finish developing before calling him up and lets you move someone like Lannan so that Detwiler, Peacock and Milone can battle for the 5th SP spot.