The Nationals have avoided arbitration with outfielder Victor Robles and right-handed reliever Tanner Rainey, the team announced. Robles, 26, was eligible for his final year of arbitration, while Rainey, 30, will be arbitration-eligible one last time next winter.
Rainey will earn $1.5MM in 2024 (per Andrew Golden of The Washington Post), which doesn’t come as any surprise; he made the same salary this past season in a year almost completely lost to injury, and arbitration-eligible players rarely receive raises after lost seasons. No dollar value has been reported for Robles, although he was projected to earn $2.7MM in arbitration. The center fielder made $2.325MM last year, and the Nationals turned down a $3.3MM club option for his services in 2024. His new deal most likely falls somewhere in between those two figures.
Around the end of the regular season, Washington agreed to a contract with veteran utilityman Ildemaro Vargas, who was eligible for his second year of arbitration. The team now has four players who could still go to arbitration this winter: outfielder Lane Thomas, closer Kyle Finnegan, set-up man Hunter Harvey, and former top prospect Luis Garcia. The Nationals have already DFA’d several arb-eligible players ahead of the non-tender deadline on November 17, including first baseman Dominic Smith, right-handed reliever Victor Arano, and utility player Michael Chavis.