1. 11 Pending Free Agents
- If they don't offer any contract extensions this season, the Nats are slated to have 11 players on the open market this coming off-season. Most are veteran journeymen that will either go by the wayside or sign low cost contract extensions late this season. However, there are some of note: Jason Marquis, Ivan Rodriguez, Chien-Ming Wang, and Livan Hernandez.
- The Nats have to decide if Marquis is worth re-signing. They may do so before the trading deadline, because according to MLBTR, the team would save $2.5 million if they unloaded him before the deadline. The Nats record in July may have a lot to do with that.
- Pudge is a Hall of Fame catcher that may no longer be extremely valuable to the club with Ramos, Flores, and Norris in the wings. I understand the player/coach mantra, but a spot on the 25-man roster is a valuable commodity.
- Wang may make the team's decision easy if he doesn't appear this season. He's cheap for his potential, but the Nats can only wait on him so long.
- Livo will be the truly interesting case. He's slowly become the recurring face of the pitching staff. First ever Nats Opening Day pitcher, back again to do it in 2011, and he's certainly a fan favorite. With the way the Nats pitching staff is evolving, Strasburg's return, Detwiler's improvement, and Maya's progression, the team may just run out of rotation spots for the old, reliable starter.
2. Arbitration Eligible Players
- Four players stick out on this list, too: Tyler Clippard, Jordan Zimmermann, Michael Morse, and John Lannan.
- Tyler Clippard is going to command a massive arbitration payday. He's currently only making $443,000 and is arguably the best reliever the Nats have. I'm not an arbitration expert, but I think Clipp will get the biggest pay bump, whether done before or during arbitration.
- JZimm is marked for $415,000 in 2011, and so he'll see a huge jump, too. Considering he's widely touted as the Nats #2 for the foreseeable future, it's worth the money, but it'll be expensive.
- Michael Morse is another beast in itself. Morse makes just over $1 million this season, and if you count 2010 and spring 2011, he was due for a big raise. But he's cooled off, almost staggeringly during the regular season. The Nats may find that Morse isn't worth what he may get in arbitration and might jettison that ship before we get there. Stay tuned to Morse's stats for the rest of this season. This will be a huge development.
- John Lannan, the Nats 2-time Opening Day starter, is another one of those who knows. Lannan's inconsistencies over the last 2 seasons are staggering, but he's a fine left hander to have at the bottom of the rotation. We're big Lannan fans here at Capitol Baseball, but with Lannan currently making $2.75 million, his net worth might exceed his asset to the club. Stay tuned here, too.
What do you think about the pending free agents and arbitration eligible Nats for this coming off-season? We'd love to hear from you. Sound off in the comments.