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Ohlendorf signs 1-year deal, 8 others tendered

Dec 3, 2013, 12:23 AM EDT

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The Nationals re-signed right-hander Ross Ohlendorf late Monday night and tendered contracts to their eight other arbitration-eligible players, choosing to keep all for 2014.

All major-league clubs had until 11:59 p.m. EST to tender contracts to players not yet signed for next season, and many teams elected to non-tender players and make them free agents.

The Nationals faced a dilemma with only one of their nine arbitration-eligible players: Ohlendorf, who was a pleasant surprise this season but might have been deemed too costly for a pitcher with no guarantee of making the Opening Day roster.

In the end, the Nationals found a way to keep the 31-year-old hurler while avoiding a potential big payday via arbitration. The two sides came to terms on a new, one-year contract just minutes before the deadline, negating the arbitration process in his case.

Ohlendorf gets a $1.25 base salary, plus incentives, according to FoxSports.com. The salary is guaranteed, even if he doesn’t make the club out of spring training. His best hope, after Monday night’s acquisition of right-hander Doug Fister from the Tigers, might be as a long reliever, where he enjoyed some success this year.

The eight other players tendered contracts on Monday — Fister, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Ross Detwiler, Wilson Ramos — still must finalize their 2014 salaries. The Nationals still can negotiate deals with all of them over the next two months, or they can submit arbitration figures in January and potentially have their cases heard in February.

  1. sunshinebobby - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    Good move re-signing Ohly. There is always room for a Princeton guy on my team.

    • sjm308 - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:29 AM

      I posted earlier that Ross, Chris Young (both Princeton grads) & Storen would be my It’s Academic” team.

  2. sjm308 - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    I like this move as well. He is usually not mentioned as either the 5th starter or long man in the pen but he can do both pretty well & I think his attitude is such that he will not pout if he starts in Syracuse. He is the definition of quality depth which we still do not have on our bench, but what a great two days. Keep going Mr. Rizzo!!

    Go Nats!

  3. ArVAFan - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    Back to the Fister trade. If he’s our number 4 starter, that would make him the home opener starter. Suddenly, I feel much better about facing Atlanta on Opening Day.

    And I’m glad we kept Ohly. It’s fun to watch him pitch–for about 4 innings per game. Then I start to worry. Long relief indeed.

    • David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      If I’m not mistaken, the rotation for that Braves game would set up as Fister, #5 starter and presumably Stras. I like out chances, assuming our offense isn’t totally inept.

  4. nats128 - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Keeping Ohlie gives Rizzo the flexibility to trade 1 of Det/Ohlie/TJord/Stammen/Roark or the flexibility of starting TJord/Roark in AAA.

    I like the move. Outside of Det, that is a surplus of right-handed pitchers. That’s a good thing.

  5. natsjackinfl - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Sorry to see Ray go . The kid was highly coachable and really worked hard on changing and mastering his mechanics. The Tigers picked a winner.

    As for Lombo, I really think that a lot of Espinosa’s angst and frustration was at not being able to beat out Lombo. Rendon, he could understand, but Lombardozzi? No way.

    And as for Krol, Rizzo can replace him, if not internally, then through trade or waiver wire.

    But getting Doug Fister? Wow. This is why I love Rizzo.

    • alexva6 - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      on Espi, I also get the feeling that he and Davey clashed a bit. I recall Davey saying “I love him but he thinks I hate him”.

      he has too much defensive talent to give up on him, I look for him to bounce back this year

  6. 3on2out - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    I know this string is about Ohly but I thought you all might appreciate the Detroit Free Press’ take:

    “Considering Dave Dombrowski’s penchant for fleecing those willing to trade with him, any initial shock and disappointment over the Tigers parting with Doug Fister on Monday night should be balanced with the likelihood that Dombrowski saw something in the two anonymous 22-year-old left-handed pitchers that will turn this deal with Washington into a plus-acquisition for the Tigers.

    The general manager’s track record earns him the benefit of the doubt. After all, wasn’t the overriding response when Dombrowski acquired Fister from Seattle at the trading deadline two years ago “Doug who?”

    It’s not easy breaking up one of the majors’ best rotations, but Dombrowski has the delicate balance of maintaining a high-priced, star-driven World Series contender while gaining more salary flexibility with solid, inexpensive players to keep those stars in Detroit.

    “We’re not cutting payroll,” Dombrowski said adamantly during a teleconference late Monday.

    Rest easy, everybody. This wasn’t a salary dump. It’s more a salary redistribution. Although the Tigers appear likley to maintain one of the top-five payrolls, they must find the necessary savings with Max Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera soon approaching free agency and the realization that ownership’s willingness to extend the budget like a biggest-revenue franchises probably won’t last much longer…”

    • David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      I’m sorry, but even if Ray and Krol turn out to be good players, it’s a great deal for the Nats. a GREAT deal.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        Remember, there’s nothing wrong with a deal being good (or ‘GREAT’) for both teams.

  7. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 3, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    “Ohlendorf gets a $1.25 base salary, plus incentives, according to FoxSports.com.”

    He’ll have to make his money on tips in the clubhouse, I guess. Too bad the mayor vetoed that minimum wage thing.

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