It's deadline day for all major leaguers with more than three years and fewer than six years of service time to agree to terms with their clubs on 2023 salaries or else file for arbitration. The Nationals have six unsigned players facing today's deadline: Victor Robles, Kyle Finnegan, Lane Thomas, Carl Edwards Jr., Victor Arano and Hunter Harvey.
Bobby Blanco and I will be keeping track of any deals that come together over the course of the day, so check back for updates along the way ...
* Harvey is the first player to sign. The Nationals announced the right-hander has agreed to terms on his 2023 contract, avoiding arbitration. We don't have numbers yet, but MLB Trade Rumors projected a $1 million salary for him in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Harvey, 28, had something of a breakthrough season out of the Nats bullpen after years of injuries with the Orioles. He did miss several months with an elbow strain, but he returned strong and finished the season healthy, with a 2.52 ERA and 1.144 WHIP, striking out 45 batters in 39 1/3 innings. He should enter the season at worst as the Nationals' seventh inning reliever, setting up Edwards and Finnegan.
* Next up is Edwards, who has avoided arbitration with his own one-year deal. The Washington Post reports he'll earn $2.25 million, which is a nice bump from his league minimum salary last season after he joined the club on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old right-hander was a revelation, producing a 2.76 ERA and 1.226 WHIP over 57 appearances, his best season since 2018 with the Cubs.
* Arano is the next player to avoid arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal. The Washington Post reports he'll earn $925,000, a small bump from his $900,000 salary last season on a minor league deal. MLB Trade Rumors projected he would earn a $1 million salary in his first year of arbitration eligibility. The 27-year-old pitched to a 4.50 ERA and 1.405 WHIP while striking out 44 batters in 42 innings over 43 appearances, his most since 2018 with the Phillies.
* Finnegan and Thomas have now both avoid arbitration as well, each agreeing to one-year deals. No figures have been reported yet, but MLB Trade Rumors projected Finnegan to earn a raise from $725,900 to $2 million and Thomas to go from $723,600 to $2.1 million. Both players are arbitration eligible for the first time.
Finnegan, 31, posted a 3.51 ERA and 1.140 WHIP with 70 strikeouts and 11 saves in 66 ⅔ innings over 66 appearances. Thomas, 27, slashed .241/.301/.404 with a .705 OPS and 52 RBIs while hitting a team-high 17 home runs on his way to being named Nationals Player of the Year as voted on by the local media.
Robles remains the only player left to sign.
* As of 10 p.m., the Nationals still had not announced any deal with Robles. Though they could still work something out, they appear likely to at least file dueling arbitration offers.
* Turns out Robles and the Nats indeed did not come to a deal before Friday night's deadline and thus filed for arbitration. Robles is asking for $2.6 million, while the team is offering $2.3 million, according to MLB.com.
A hearing will be scheduled for next month in St. Petersburg, Fla., but the two sides are free to continue negotiating until then. That's actually what happened last year between these same two parties: Robles and the Nats filed for arbitration but then worked out a deal prior to the scheduled hearing.