UPDATE, 9:30 P.M.: The Washington Nationals tendered contracts to all arbitration-eligible players other than left-handed reliever Doug Slaten — Michael Morse, John Lannan, Tyler Clippard, Tom Gorzelanny, Jesus Flores and Jordan Zimmermann.
The only difficult decision, really, came with Gorzelanny. A left-hander, Gorzelanny started 15 games last season before the Nationals moved him to the bullpen. For about $2.5 million, the Nationals will get a pitcher who gives them depth as a starter and who last year pitched reliably as a reliever.
The Nationals will non-tender Slaten by tonight’s deadline, a person with knowledge said. The Nationals and Slaten, who made $695,000 last year, had initial talks about a pre-arbitration deal but they never gained traction. Slaten will not be signing with the Nationals, looking instead for a team where he’d have a better shot at making the team.
Slaten performed well for the Nationals in 2010 before injury and ineffectiveness derailed him last year. Slaten pitched only 16 1/3 innings, allowing eight earned runs and 15 inherited runners to score.