Washington Nationals Contract Updates

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and there are several unsigned players from last season’s World Series team. 

Three players will not be wearing the curly W next season. Parra Shark has signed with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. After battling numerous injuries for several years, Koda Glover announced his retirement from major league baseball early last week. Javy Guera was non-tendered meaning he was not offered a contract with the Nats for next season and is now a free agent.

Five players have signed contracts to stay in DC next season, or beyond.

Stephen Strasburg agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract on Dec. 9, the largest for any pitcher in MLB history. He will be 38 when the contract expires.

Catcher Yan Gomes will be reunited with fellow veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki. Gomes will stay in DC for at least two more years, earning $5 million per season. 

Howie Kendrick signed a one year, roughly $6 million contract on Friday. The 36-year-old NLCS MVP can play several positions and will be a vital part of the 2020 team. 

The Nats avoided arbitration with Wilmer Difo by agreeing to a one year, $1 million contract. Hunter Strickland also took a one year, $1.6 million deal to avoid arbitration.  

Four more players are under contract for 2020 but are arbitration-eligible and have not reached an agreement with the Nats. They have until Jan. 10 to sign a contract and if they don’t agree by then, it will go to arbitration — something most everyone wants to avoid. 

Roenis Elías was acquired by the Nats in the same trade that brought Strickland to DC. In four appearances, he posted an unsightly 9.00 ERA. Elías was much stronger with the Seattle Mariners earlier in the season, giving the Nats a tough contract decision this winter.  

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Michael A. Taylor is projected to earn $3.25 million in 2020. He also didn’t play a full season with the Nats, and his unreliable offense could cost him in his next contract. 

Joe Ross got to be Max Scherzer in the World Series. It didn’t play out like some hoped it would, but he’s back from Tommy John surgery and stands to be an important member of the pitching staff next season. 

Finally, Trea Turner turned in a stellar season despite missing 40 games with a broken finger and playing the rest of the season with a grossly misshapen knuckle. This is his first year of arbitration, and his contract extends until the end of the 2023 season. 

We are still waiting for contracts with two free agents. 

Anthony Rendon is garnering all the attention amidst the “will he/won’t he return to DC” rumors and not much news has emerged from either camp in the last few days. 

Ryan Zimmerman’s contract ended with little fanfare after the World Series. At a World Series celebration event the other day, he said, “I think I’ve made my intentions pretty clear. It’s either play some more here or play some more golf.” He’s 35 years old and will be entering his 15th season with the Nats. 

Regardless of how this all shakes out, the Nats are poised to have a strong 25 man roster in April, especially with Strasburg and Scherzer leading the rotation. 

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