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12/12/11 11:09 PM EST

Nats tender contracts to six, let Slaten go

WASHINGTON -- Entering Monday, the Nationals had seven players -- Tyler Clippard, Tom Gorzelanny, Jesus Flores, Michael Morse, John Lannan, Doug Slaten and Jordan Zimmermann -- eligible for arbitration, and the team decided that Slaten would be non-tendered, making him a free agent.

Slaten spent most of the season on the disabled list because of left elbow ulnar neuritis. Once he returned to action, Slaten was hit hard and ended the season with a 4.41 ERA in 31 games.

Gorzelanny was another player who had a chance to be non-tendered. He got off to a slow start as a starter, but found his niche as a reliever. In that role, Gorzelanny went 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA. He is expected to be a long man out of the bullpen next season.

Clippard, Morse, Lannan and Zimmermann are all mainstays with the Nats. This past season, Clippard was Washington's best pitcher, striking out 104 batters with a 1.83 ERA in 72 games, while Morse was the team's MVP with a .303 batting average with 31 home runs and 95 RBIs.

Lannan and Zimmermann were part of the Nationals' rotation this past season and won a combined 18 games. Flores proved that he recovered from right shoulder problems. As a backup catcher, he played in 30 games and was 18-for-86 (.209) with a home run and two RBIs.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.