Nats sign three, non-tender two
Cordero, Rauch and Redding among those arbitration eligible
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals agreed to terms on 2008 contracts with right-handers Luis Ayala, John Patterson and Ryan Wagner on Wednesday, thus avoiding salary arbitration, while deciding to non-tender outfielder Nook Logan and left-hander Mike O'Connor.
According to sources, Ayala will make $1.7 million, while Patterson and Wagner will make $850,000 and $450.000, respectively.
The Nationals now have five players -- infielder Felipe Lopez and right-handers Jesus Colome, Chad Cordero, Jon Rauch and Tim Redding -- who remain arbitration eligible.
After missing the entire 2006 season because of elbow reconstruction, Ayala, 29, came back in 2007 and had a respectable 3.19 ERA in 44 appearances with the Nationals. He is expected to be one of the team's setup men next season.
Patterson and Wagner missed most of '07 because of arm and shoulder injuries, respectively. Patterson, who was the Nationals' Opening Day starter, was 1-5 with a 7.47 ERA in seven games. He is currently playing catch and hopes to be ready for Spring Training.
Wagner, who was expected to have a breakout campaign, had a bout of right rotator cuff inflammation spoil his season. On June 5, Wagner had right-shoulder surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.
Both Logan and O'Connor didn't have a future with Washington. The acquisitions of Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes made Logan expendable. Logan was inconsistent with the bat, glove and on the bases.
Manager Manny Acta benched Logan the final two weeks of the season and decided to platoon Ryan Church -- recently traded to the Mets in the Milledge deal -- with Justin Maxwell in center field. In 118 games, Logan hit .265 with 21 RBIs.
O'Connor hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2006. He missed a good chunk of the '07 season because of an elbow injury. When he returned to action, O'Connor pitched for Double-A Harrisburg and was hit hard, going 3-7 with a 7.07 ERA.
The Nationals considered O'Connor as no more than a potential fifth starter.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.