Washington Nationals: Revere Goes; Espinosa Stays For Now

Sep 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Ben Revere (9) waits his turn in the batting cage before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Ben Revere (9) waits his turn in the batting cage before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Washington Nationals part ways with Ben Revere while reluctantly keeping Danny Espinosa. All others eligible received contract offers.

As expected, the Washington Nationals did not offer a contract to outfielder Ben Revere for 2017 of Friday afternoon. The fifth-year player was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $6.3 million next year.

In a minor surprise, the Nats extended a contract offer to beleaguered shortstop Danny Espinosa. The subject of many rumors regarding his status this week, Washington—for now—will keep him. His return is estimated at $5.3 million.

Bryce Harper, Tanner Roark and Anthony Rendon earned deals for next year. The Nationals and players hope to avoid arbitration and settle before hearings happen. Harper has two years of team control while Roark and Rendon have three.

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Jose Lobaton agreed to a one-year deal on Thursday.

Revere, traded at the start of last offseason from the Toronto Blue Jays, did not have a good 2016. After suffering from an oblique injury, his production tumbled. A .300 hitter most of his career, his batting average plunged to .217 this season. With an OBP of .260, his Adjusted OPS for the year was 49 or 51 percent below-league average.

As Trea Turner took the District by storm, Revere lost his starting position, finishing 2016 on the outside looking in. Now a free agent, Revere will sign elsewhere and can start again given the right situation.

Meanwhile, Espinosa remains on the Nationals.

As the Nats negotiated the past two days with the Pittsburgh Pirates over a trade for Andrew McCutchen, Washington was eager to let Espinosa go in an effort to pay McCutchen’s salary. If the trade goes forward, Turner will move from center to short and Espinosa will either be a utility player or go elsewhere.

This was mixed season for Espinosa. He slugged 20 home runs. His defense at short remained stellar. Striking out over 170 times and hitting .209 lost him the starting job next year. A rough day for him after being told his future is not in Washington.

Who the Nationals get to play centerfield is open. The shortstop job is Turner’s. If Espinosa remains with the team, there will need to be a clearing of the air.

Next: Nats Trade For Padres' Norris

It will be hard for everyone to act happy after such a public display.