10/10/2013 2:11 P.M. ET
Nationals' roster: Who stays, who goes?
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
Here's a look at the Nationals' 2013 Major League roster: Who stays, who goes, who has something to prove?
They'll be back
LHP Gio Gonzalez: He didn't have the season that he had in 2012, but Gonzalez still won 11 games, had a respectable 3.36 ERA and struck out 192 batters. He would like to reach 200 innings for the first time as a member of the Nationals.
RHP Tyler Clippard: Clearly, the best reliever on the team. At one point, manager Davey Johnson overused Clippard because the team didn't have a quality left-handed pitcher who could get left-handed hitters out.
SS Ian Desmond: He is one of Washington's top priorities. The team wants to sign him to a long-term extension, but Desmond is not going to take a team discount to do it. He has two more years of salary arbitration and then he could walk as a free agent.
OF Scott Hairston: Expected to be one of the main guys off the bench in 2014, Hairston should be able to provide power from the right side of the plate.
OF Bryce Harper: He missed more than a month after banging his left knee into the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium on May 12. Harper even had issues with his left hip that forced him to miss a few games. When he is healthy, Harper is clearly one of the best players on the Nationals. When he was in the lineup, the Nationals were 65-53.
RHP Ross Ohlendorf: Arbitration eligible, Ohlendorf is espected to be the long man out of the bullpen. After Ross Detwiler was put on the disabled list, Ohlendorf was put in the rotation, but, according to Johnson, it appeared he ran out of gas after five innings.
1B Adam LaRoche: It looked like he could have been traded if Ryan Zimmerman didn't straighten out his throwing problems. But LaRoche will be the Nationals' everyday first baseman in 2014. He had one of the toughest seasons of his Major League career. It didn't helped that LaRoche lost 15 to 20 pounds during the second half of the season. It was believed, at first, that LaRoche was losing the weight because of the flu. But LaRoche revealed that the weight loss was caused by the medication he was taking for attention deficit disorder (ADD). LaRoche is expected to fix the problem during the offseason.
INF Steve Lombardozzi: The best bench player on the team, Lombardozzi led the team in pinch-hits. He will likely be in the same role next year.
C Wilson Ramos: Imagine if he played a full season -- his numbers would be awesome. However, he played in only 78 games because of hamstring problems, but he managed to hit 16 home runs and drove in 59 runs.
RHP Rafael Soriano: It was an up-and-down season for the closer. He saved 43 games in 49 opportunities. He has one more year on his contract, but his option year in 2015 could kick in if he finishes a combined 120 games in '12 and '13. He finished 58 games last year.
CF Denard Span: During the month of June, it looked liked Span was going to be a bust in his first year with the Nationals. But during the final three month of the season, Span put up respectable numbers, hitting .295 with four home runs, 27 RBIs and 42 runs scored.
RHP Craig Stammen: He has been consistent reliever the past two years for the Nationals. An all purpose reliever, Stammen can be a long man or pitch in the late innings.
RHP Stephen Strasburg: He didn't get a lot of run support this past season, but he had a respectable ERA and managed to collect his 500th career strikeout. For next year, he would like to reach 200 innings and become one of the leaders of the rotation.
RF Jayson Werth: The MVP of the team in 2013, Werth carried the Nationals' offense. He was one of the reasons the Nats stayed in the National League Wild Card race until the final week of the season. After the season ended, Werth ranked in the top five in the NL in OPS, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and batting average.
3B Ryan Zimmerman: For weeks, people were wondering if he would be switched to first base because he was having serious problems throwing the baseball during the first five months of the season. He was still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. However, during the final month of the season, Zimmerman looked like the player who won the Gold Glove in 2009. Zimmerman will remain at third base for the 2014 season.
RHP Jordan Zimmermann: He was clearly the best pitcher in Washington's rotation. Zimmermann was able to win a team-leading 19 games, reach 200 innings and was invited to his first All-Star Game in 2013.
Something to prove
LHP Fernando Abad: His respectable 3.35 ERA doesn't tell the whole story. Left-handed hitters had a .306 batting average against Abad. Johnson stopped using him in critical situations in September because of that reason.
OF Corey Brown: It hasn't helped that injuries have curtailed his chances from being a big leaguer for a lengthy period of time. He will be given a chance to become a backup outfielder in 2014.
LHP Xavier Cedeno: Johnson didn't have a lefty specialist he could trust until Cedeno returned as a September callup. It took coach Tony Beasley to convince Johnson to use Cedeno in important situations. Cedeno allowed a run in 4 2/3 innings during the month of September.
RHP Erik Davis: He wasn't given much of a chance after he was called up to the big leagues. He had a 3.12 ERA and struck out 12 batters in 8 2/3 innings in 10 games. Davis most likely will compete for middle innings job next year.
RHP Taylor Jordan : He was on an inning limit because of Tommy John surgery he had in 2011. But in his brief time in the big leagues, he made himself a candidate to be in the rotation in '14.
OF Jeff Kobernus: After being called up, Kobernus brought speed to the bench. He will try to make the team as a backup outfielder.
LHP Ian Krol: Krol got off to a great start with the Nationals allowing two runs in 11 2/3 innings during the month of June. After that, he had a 5.74 ERA and Johnson stopped using him after Sept. 17. Krol may start the season in the Minor Leagues if he doesn't have a good Spring Training.
C Sandy Leon: He wasn't given much of a chance when he returned to the big leagues this past season. He will get a chance to make the Opening Day roster as a backup catcher.
RHP Ryan Mattheus: He was supposed to be one of the workhorses in the bullpen, but he broke his right hand after punching a locker last May in San Diego. When he returned to action, he had a tough time getting hitters out and was eventually sent to the Minor Leagues. After he returned to the big leagues, he still had problems on the mound.
OF Tyler Moore: After he came back to the big leagues in August, Moore was 21-for-61 with a home run and seven RBIs.
RHP Tanner Roark: He often showed that he should be given serious consideration for the back end of the rotation next year. Roark went 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA.
C Jhonatan Solano: Like Leon, Solano wasn't given much of a chance in the big level. When he did play, he proved to be great when it came to blocking balls in the dirt. He still must prove that he can hit big league pitching.
INF Zach Walters: He received a September callup after hitting .253 with a career-high 29 home runs and 77 RBIs in 134 games for the Chiefs. He will get a chance to be a backup infielder in 2014.
All but gone
RHP Dan Haren: For the season, Haren went 10-14 with a 4.69 ERA, but he had a respectable 3.29 ERA after coming off the disabled list on July 8. Haren will be a free agent, and he is well aware that he most likely will not be back with the Nationals.
INF Chad Tracy: The leader of the Goon Squad was not good coming off the bench, hitting .202. However in the final three months of the season, Tracy was 16-for-54 (.296) with six RBIs. It wouldn't come as a surprise if he was offered a Minor League deal by the club.
Possible trade chips
RHP Drew Storen: He lost his closer's job after the Nationals signed Soriano to a two-year deal. While he never said anything negative about the deal, it appeared to affect Storen on the mound. It got so bad at one point that Storen was sent to Triple-A Syracuse for a couple of weeks. After he returned, Storen had a 1.40 ERA in 21 games.
2B Danny Espinosa: He was sent to the Minor Leagues in June and never returned to the big leagues because of problems at the plate. Espinosa struck out a combined 148 times in 471 at-bats for the Nationals and Chiefs. The Nationals are looking to trade him and it will be interesting to see if there are any takers this offseason.
INF Anthony Rendon: If the Nationals want to acquire a pitcher like left-hander David Price, they might have to surrender a player like Rendon, who did an above-average job playing a new position -- second base. He also wasn't bad with the bat either, driving in 35 runs in 98 games.
OF Eury Perez: He already showed that he can hit Minor League pitching. He may need to be traded in order to get playing time in the big leagues.
LHP Ross Detwiler: This past season was supposed to be his coming-out party, but he spent most of the season on the disabled list because of a back injury. The Nationals are hoping that he plays Winter ball this season. Detwiler already has spent time in the instructional league. There is a possibility he could make the team as one of the left-handers in the bullpen.
RHP Christian Garcia: Johnson had had plans to make him a starter, but Garcia never played a big league game because forearm and hamstring injuries. With Johnson gone, Garcia could go back to the bullpen in 2014.
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.