The Nationals announced today that they have tendered contracts to all 10 of their remaining arbitration-eligible players - left-handers Jerry Blevins and Ross Detwiler, right-handers Tyler Clippard, Doug Fister, Craig Stammen, Drew Storen and Stephen Strasburg, infielder Danny Espinosa and catchers Jose Lobaton and Wilson Ramos.
This means that, at least for now, all 10 of those players will remain under the Nationals’ control.
It is still possible, however, for these players to be traded at any point. It’s also worth noting that a player who has been tendered a contract can be released without the team being responsible for the entire salary he earns through the arbitration process.
If a team releases an arbitration-eligible player who has been tendered a contract more than two weeks prior to opening day, it is responsible for only one-sixth of his salary.
Some fans might be surprised to see Detwiler or Espinosa tendered contracts. The Nats either still see a role for Detwiler or feel that he would make a valuable trade chip, while Espinosa could return either as a reserve middle infielder or find himself getting at least a share of the starts at second base.
Teams and players now have time to exchange salary numbers for the 2015 season, and if the sides cannot reach an agreement, they will head to an arbitration hearing. Hearings have become increasingly rare with both teams and players preferring to avoid a process that can get quite ugly. But if a hearing is necessary, it will be held in February.
Here again are the projected salaries for each of the 10 players tendered a contract today, via MLBTradeRumors.com (with service time in parentheses):
Tyler Clippard (5.148) - $9.3 million
Jerry Blevins (5.081) - $2.2 million
Doug Fister (5.058) - $11.4 million
Ross Detwiler (5.002) - $3.3 million
Craig Stammen (4.160) - $2.1 million
Drew Storen (4.140) - $5.8 million
Stephen Strasburg (4.118) - $8.1 million
Wilson Ramos (4.047) - $3.2 million
Jose Lobaton (3.138) - $1.2 million
Danny Espinosa (3.113) - $2.3 million
Infielder Kevin Frandsen was also eligible for arbitration this offseason, but he and the Nats already agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal with $300,000 in incentives.