The Nationals announced Tuesday they avoided arbitration with six players including right fielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell. Pitchers Austin Voth, Erick Fedde, Joe Ross and Tanner Rainey settled as well, joining outfielder Andrew Stevenson after he agreed to terms prior to the lockout.
Washington’s only unsettled case is centerfielder Victor Robles, who filed at $2.1 million against the Nationals at $1.6 million, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. The club announced at the 1 p.m. ET deadline it would “continue to negotiate” with Robles, Bell and Soto — the latter two of whom settled a few hours later. Robles is coming off a season in which the Nationals demoted him to Triple-A in September; he hit .203 with two home runs and a .605 OPS in 107 games in the major leagues.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported that Soto and Bell settled on salaries of $17.1 million and $10 million, respectively. Soto’s guarantee represents the 11th-highest salary for an arbitration player in MLB history, trailing only Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner ($21 million) for the largest salary among such players this season. Both players are breaking eight figures for the first time in their careers.
Fedde ($2.15 million) and Voth ($875,000), terms reported by Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post, were each in their first year of arbitration. Rainey, whose salary hasn’t been reported, was a first-time eligible player as well. MLB Trade Rumors projected him to settle for $800,000. Closing out the group was Ross at $2.4 million in his final year before hitting free agency.
As their payroll stands, the Nationals will enter this season with five players making at least $10 million: Stephen Strasburg ($35 million), Patrick Corbin ($23.417 million), Nelson Cruz ($15 million), Soto and Bell. FanGraphs projects the club to finish with 73 wins, sixth-fewest in the majors.