Adam LaRoche, Sean Burnett become free agents
The Nationals could stand to lose a pair of valuable contributors, as first baseman Adam LaRoche and lefty reliever Sean Burnett have both declined mutual options and instead chosen free agency.
|Adam LaRoche immediately becomes one of the winter's most-coveted free agents. (Getty Images)|
After declining mutual options, first baseman Adam LaRoche and lefty reliever Sean Burnett, both members of the Nationals this past season, have become free agents, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports.
LaRoche could have returned to Washington for 2013 on a $10-million pact, while Burnett's option called for a $3.5-million contract for next season.
In 2012, LaRoche, age 32, put up an OPS+ of 128 while also winning the NL Gold Glove at his position. Given the incredibly thin crop of free agents at first base, he'll almost certainly outpace his option on the open market.
As for Burnett, the 30-year-old posted a 2.38 ERA and 57 strikeouts against just nine unintentional walks in 56 2/3 innings. For his career, Burnett boasts a relief ERA of 3.22. As a lefty who dominates same-side batters, he'll have plenty of suitors.