The Nationals and Roger Bernadina avoided arbitration by agreeing to a contract, according to his agent Damon Lapa. The deal will play pay him $1,212,500 for the 2013 season plus $130,000 in incentives.
Bernadina became eligible for arbitration for the first after a season in which he was the Nationals primary fill-in outfielder at all three spots. The 28-year-old left-handed batter had a career year last season, hitting .291/.372/.405 with five home runs, 15 stolen bases and 25 RBI in 261 plate appearances. He gets a nice raise for his performance last year, when he made $493,500.
Bernadina will likely fill the same role next season, serving as the team’s primary left-handed backup outfielder.
With Bernadina’s deal, the Nationals have only three arbitration-eligible players remaining: Ian Desmond, Tyler Clippard and Jordan Zimmerman. Friday is the deadline for teams and the players’ representative to exchange figures. The arbitration process is merely to determine the players’ salaries for next season, with Desmond and Zimmermann as the likeliest candidates for long-term deals.