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.