WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have decided to non-tender left-handers John Lannan and Tom Gorzelanny and catcher Jesus Flores, making them free agents. The deadline to tender a contract was 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday.
FoxSports.com was the first to report about Gorzelanny and Flores. The news about Lannan -- which was first reported by MLB.com -- doesn't come as a surprise, for he no longer was in the Nats' plans after they sent him down to Triple-A Syracuse before the 2012 season started. The Nationals tried trading Lannan during the season, but opposing teams did not want to deal with his $5 million salary.
Lannan lost his rotation spot to left-hander Ross Detwiler and spent most of the season at Triple-A. When he returned to the big leagues in September, Lannan replaced Stephen Strasburg in the rotation after the ace reached his innings limit. However, Lannan was taken off the playoff roster when the Nats faced the Cardinals in the National League Division Series.
In five-plus years with Washington, Lannan was 42-52 with a 4.01 ERA. His best season was in 2011, going 10-11 with a 3.70 ERA. He was the Nationals' Opening Day starter in 2009 and '10.
The Nationals head into the Winter Meetings looking for a starter to replace right-hander Edwin Jackson.
As for Gorzelanny, he had a solid 2012 season as a long man, going 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 45 games. However, he made $3 million while he was in the bullpen. Gorzelanny prefers to be a starter, so he will be looking for a rotation spot with another team.
As for Flores, there wasn't any room for him in D.C. The Nationals enter the 2013 season with Kurt Suzuki and Wilson Ramos as their catchers, with Sandy Leon waiting in the wings.
Flores lost his starting job in August after the Nats acquired Suzuki from the Athletics. Washington was unhappy with Flores' game-calling. It was learned that he would often go against the game plan against opposing hitters. There were even some in the organization who felt that Flores cared more about his offense than his game-calling.
Flores made $850,000 in 2012, and hit .213 with six home runs and 26 RBIs in 83 games. At one point, it looked like he was going to be an All-Star catcher, but on May 9, 2009, Flores was hit on the right shoulder by a Chris Young foul tip in Phoenix. Flores would miss over two years of action because of the injury.
By the time Flores returned to the big leagues, Ramos had already emerged as one of the top young catchers in the NL.