Willingham, Nats avoid arbitration
Outfielder agrees to one-year contract for $2.95 million
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham avoided arbitration on Wednesday by agreeing to a one-year, $2.95 million contract. Willingham is expected to report to Spring Training on Thursday and battle for a spot in the outfield.
Willingham, who came over from Florida with left-hander Scott Olsen in a trade that sent Emilio Bonifacio to the Marlins, was asking for $3.6 million, while the team countered with $2.55 million.
Back problems forced Willingham, 30, to play in only 102 games last season, when he hit .254 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs.
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is expected to have his arbitration hearing on Friday. He is asking for $3.9 million, while Washington is countering with $2.75 million.
Zimmerman is coming off an injury-riddled season, playing in only 106 games because of left shoulder and right hand injuries. He hit .283 with 14 home runs and 51 RBIs.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.