Adam LaRoche and Sean Burnett are now free agents
From the Washington Post:
First baseman Adam LaRoche and left-handed reliever Sean Burnett became free agents this morning when both declined their half of mutual options for the 2013 season, multiple people familiar with the transactions said. The Nationals exercised their half of the $10 million option for LaRoche and a $3.5 million option for Burnett, but both players declined with the belief they can receive a multi-year deal on the open market.
LaRoche and Burnett have said they would like to stay in Washington, and both players and the Nationals are free to negotiate a new contract. But the Nationals will now need to compete with every other team in the market once the clock strikes midnight Saturday, the first day teams can contact free agents from opposing clubs.
I really hope the Nats lock up deals with LaRoche and Burnett. LaRoche is a veteran leader on the team who helped guide the younger guys towards the top. His leadership would be sorely missed.